Tragic Fire Claims Lives in French Holiday Home for People with Learning Disabilities

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A devastating fire has claimed the lives of eleven individuals after it tore through a holiday home that hosted people with learning disabilities in eastern France. Emergency services were alerted to the blaze in La Forge at 06:30 local time on Wednesday, and nearly 80 firefighters were dispatched to the scene. While the fire has now been extinguished, its cause remains uncertain.

The building, which was being used by two separate charities aiding individuals with disabilities, was located near Wintzenheim, close to the German border and approximately 70 km south of Strasbourg. The local government for the Haut-Rhin region reported that two groups of adults, one from Nancy and the other from an undisclosed location, were staying in the building when the fire broke out.

Although the fire was swiftly brought under control, the strength of the blaze had engulfed two-thirds of the building, which had been converted from an old barn into a three-story holiday home. Despite the valiant efforts of 76 firefighters and the utilization of drones and dogs to assist in the search and rescue operations, eleven lives were tragically lost.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences and gratitude to the emergency services. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin acknowledged the courage of the firefighters but warned that casualties were likely, even with the prompt response of the emergency teams.

French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne visited the scene, conveying her sorrow at the heart-wrenching incident. The deputy prosecutor for Colmar, Nathalie Kielwasser, confirmed that the fire mainly impacted the second floor, making it challenging for those trapped to escape. The exact circumstances of the tragedy remain unclear as there have been no eyewitness accounts available thus far.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Reuters

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