9 bodies were found following a fire that occurred at a France holiday home
A tragic incident occurred in France where a holiday home catering to individuals with learning disabilities was engulfed in a fire, resulting in the discovery of nine bodies and raising concerns about the potential loss of two more lives.
The alarm was raised at 06:30 local time (04:30 GMT) on Wednesday, prompting the dispatch of around 80 firefighters to the scene at La Forge.
Authorities have classified the missing individuals as “potentially deceased,” as stated by a local official. Although the fire has been quelled, its origin remains uncertain. The evacuation of seventeen occupants took place, and one person was transported to a medical facility.
A search operation is ongoing to locate the two remaining missing individuals, as shared by the leader of the rescue mission. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin indicated that multiple casualties were likely due to the fire.
The unfortunate incident unfolded near Wintzenheim, in proximity to the German border and approximately 70km (50 miles) south of Strasbourg.
The Haut-Rhin region’s local government provided an update, revealing that the affected cottage had been hosting two groups of adults affiliated with distinct charitable organizations assisting those with disabilities.
One of the groups originated from Nancy, another city in eastern France, according to an earlier statement.
Four fire engines and 76 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze, who quickly brought it under control despite the strength of the fire, the statement added.
The head of the Bas-Rhin prefecture said all 11 people initially reported missing in the fire were now considered “potentially deceased”, AFP reports.
Christophe Marot said those on the ground floor were able to quickly leave the building but people upstairs could not.
French President Emmanuel Macron said his thoughts were with the victims and their families and thanked the emergency services for responding to the “tragedy”.
French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and families minister Aurore Bergé are on their way to Wintzenheim.
Photographs published in local media show the partially wooden cottage in La Forge almost entirely ablaze early on Wednesday morning.
The building is an old barn converted into a three-storey holiday home. Firefighters said two-thirds of it was on fire before they managed to bring it under control.