Czech town announces public collection to aid Romani family whose house caught fire last week
The municipality of Veltěže in the district of Louny will be announcing a public collection to aid the Romani family whose house caught fire on Friday, 15 May and will make an initial deposit of CZK 5 000 [EUR 180] to the account. Mayor Věra Posledníková announced the collection in an interview for the online Romani television channel ROMEA TV.
A fire broke out Friday at the home of the Přibyl family under circumstances that have yet to be clarified. The family owns the house and had reconstructed it, but did not have it insured.
On Monday the mayor convened the local assembly to discuss how to aid the family. "The municipality must proceed according to the rules [on public collections]," she told ROMEA TV.
"We have communicated with the Regional Authority that we will be convening the local assembly, we will be setting up an account, a public collection for the family will be announced, and the municipality will deposit the first five thousand," the mayor told ROMEA TV. "Immediately after the fire broke out I dealt with the electrician so that the family could return to the other half of the residence and their electricity would be restored, which we managed to do."
The family has returned to their home and is currently using the parts that were not damaged (one bedroom and the kitchen). The fire broke out on Friday evening, fortunately at a moment when nobody was in the house.
"I was at work in Děčín, I came back that evening after work and Mom called me to say the house was on fire. At first I thought she was pulling my leg, so I called around to verify it," the family's older son, Nikolas Přibyl, told ROMEA TV.
"Eventually a friend told me several firefighting trucks were actually here," Nikolas Přibyl related. His mother Helena had previously told news server Romea.cz that "On Friday afternoon at about 15:00 we left for a wake in Liberec, because we had a death on my husband's side of the family."
"Before we left we checked to make sure nothing was turned on," Přibylová told news server Romea.cz. "At around 11 in the evening the police were calling us and people were writing to me on Facebook that our house was on fire."
Father Igor Přibyl, mother Helena Přibylová, their daughters aged two and 15 and their nine-year-old son live in the home. According to information from the family, the pergola in front of the house apparently first went up in flames and the fire then spread from it to part of the house.
The homeowners say eyewitnesses claim to have seen a youth handling pyrotechnics near the blaze. "In the village it's being said that the pergola caught fire from a firecracker that somebody threw over the fence," Igor Přibyl told Romea.cz.
Police have also begun investigating the causes of the blaze. "Currently the Louny police force is undertaking the steps to verify the circumstances and causes of the fire in collaboration with the firefighter rescue corps," police spokesperson Ludmila Světláková told news server Romea.cz.
More specific information about the public collection will be available on the website of the municipality once the Regional Authority issues permission for it. The municipality also published a call online for volunteers to aid the family with removing the fire-damaged parts of the building.
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