Czech Republic: Romani-occupied residential hotel catches fire, young family loses everything, 12 suffer smoke inhalation
On 19 November a residential hotel in Teplice, Czech Republic, caught fire. Twelve people, five of them children, suffered from smoke inhalation.
Firefighters evacuated a total of 30 people from the building. Milan Rudof of the Regional Firefighting Corps and Prokop Voleník, spokesperson for the Regional Emergency Medical Services, informed the press of the incident.
News server Romea.cz has learned the residential hotel was mainly inhabited by Romani tenants. The blaze broke out before 13:00 CET in the multi-storey building on Přítkovská Street in an apartment that was fortunately unoccupied at the time.
EMTs took those who were suffering from smoke inhalation to hospital. The cause of the blaze and the amount of the damage was not yet known at the time of reporting.
"An investigation is underway in collaboration with the firefighter corps investigator. Police dogs were called to the scene to track what the accelerant was," said Regional Police spokesperson Alena Bartošová.
Romani activist Jozef Miker aided the afflicted families at the scene and told news server Romea.cz that "Apparently the fire sparked from an electrical outlet. One apartment is totally destroyed where a young family with two children was living."
"I bought groceries for that family and others from the residential hotel, they got hot tea also," Miker said, adding that in collaboration with local Romani politician Karel Karika, he had managed to arrange basic clothing donations for the afflicted family. They are temporarily living with the mother of a young woman who lives in the same building.
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