11 missing after fire at holiday home for disabled people

Daily Insider News

Eleven individuals are currently unaccounted for following a fire that occurred at a vacation residence designed for individuals with learning disabilities in France.

Approximately 80 firefighters were dispatched to the scene in La Forge after emergency services were alerted at 06:30 local time (05:30 BST) on Wednesday.

According to a local official who spoke to AFP news agency, the 11 missing individuals are considered to be “potentially deceased.”

The fire seems to have originated within a property utilized by a charitable organization dedicated to assisting young people with disabilities.

Seventeen occupants were successfully evacuated from the structure, while at least one individual has been transported to a hospital. The cause of the fire remains uncertain.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin confirmed that a rescue operation is currently underway. He indicated that there is a high likelihood of numerous casualties resulting from the fire in the town, which is situated near Wintzenheim, close to the German border.

A statement released by the local government for the Haut-Rhin region specified that the 11 missing individuals were part of a group from Nancy, located in eastern France.

Despite the fire’s intensity, which required the dispatch of four fire engines and 76 firefighters, the blaze was brought under control promptly, as reported in local media.

Christophe Marot, the head of the Bas-Rhin prefecture in eastern France, relayed that those missing since the fire broke out are now considered to be “potentially deceased,” according to AFP. He noted that individuals situated on the ground floor were able to exit the building quickly, while those on the upper levels were unable to do so.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences to the victims and their families, extending gratitude to the emergency services for their swift response to the “tragic incident.”

French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and Families Minister Aurore Bergé are currently en route to Wintzenheim.

Photographs disseminated by local media depict the partially wooden cottage in La Forge engulfed in flames during the early hours of Wednesday.

The structure, originally an old barn that had been converted into a three-story holiday residence, was reported to be two-thirds consumed by fire before firefighters successfully brought it under control.

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