Czech Republic: 30 injured after Čunek's container housing catches fire
Approximately 50 people had to be evacuated during a blaze in the prefabricated containers known as the "Čunek houses" in the Poschlá quarter of Vsetín, where a total of seven firefighting units had to intervene on 31 March after 15:00. Insulation on the first floor of the containers caught fire and two other stories were extensively damaged by smoke.
"Our initial survey was very complicated by the chaos that broke out at the scene. Some of the residents escaped through ground-floor windows, while others who found themselves on the two upper stories attempted to escape through windows at that level, dropping out of them or even jumping out of them. Firefighters did their best to calm the situation and used extension ladders to evacuate people from the building," said Libor Netopil, spokesperson for the Zlín Regional Firefighters.
"Firefighters got the fire itself under control quite rapidly and concentrated primarily on evacuating approximately 50 people. The evacuees were handed over to emergency medical technicians for checking and treatment. According to estimates, about 30 people were injured, predominantly through smoke inhalation," Netopil said.
The town of Vsetín arranged substitute accommodation at the Cultural Facility in Sychrov for those residents who did not need medical treatment in hospital. "We counted on accommodating approximately 40 persons at Sychrov and we prepared the facility for them. We put together blankets, chairs and quilts for them, but ultimately we learned that none of them would be taking of advantage of this aid because they had all moved in with either family or friends. Because the apartment units were neither affected nor damaged by the fire, we are doing our best to make sure they can return there as soon as possible, within 10 days at the most," said Deputy Mayor Tomáš Pifka.
Police officers intervened at the scene from the beginning along with EMTs and firefighters. They will help fire investigators review the cause and circumstances of how the fire started and estimate the damage caused.
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