Fire at Czech Asylum Kills at Least 8 and Injures 30 Others
PRAGUE — At least eight people were killed and 30 others injured in the Czech Republic after a fire broke out on Sunday at a home for people with mental disabilities, officials said.
The fire occurred at a home in Vejprty, where mostly men with mental and other disabilities lived, fire and rescue officials told the public broadcaster Czech Television. The town is on the country’s northwest border with Germany.
Prokop Volenik, a spokesman for the regional rescue service, said one of the injured was in critical condition.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known. It was the second-deadliest blaze in the country’s 30-year post-Communist history.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis called the blaze “a terrible tragedy,” saying on Twitter that the police and firefighters were doing their utmost to investigate.
The blaze was reported just before 5 a.m. local time. The newspaper Dennik N reported that the fire started in one room and that most of those killed had died from smoke inhalation.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire and put it out within hours, officials said.
In 2010, a fire at an abandoned building in Prague that was often used by homeless people killed nine. In 1995, a hotel fire in the capital killed eight.
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