One dead, 13 injured as fire destroys building in western Germany

Published 13.05.2019 01:48

One person was killed and 13 others injured Sunday in a blaze that destroyed an apartment building in the German town of Neunkirchen, police said.

A family of three was unaccounted for, but it was not clear whether they were in the building when the fire broke out in the cellar early Sunday morning.

The body found at the scene has not been identified. When emergency services arrived, some residents were jumping from windows of the building in the western town near Saarbruecken, according to a police spokesman.

Firefighters rescued the other residents, including children. None of them sustained serious injuries, according to initial reports.

For hours, the fire spread out of control in the building, which was partly made of wood. Neighbouring houses had to be evacuated. Streets in the area were cordoned off.

Fire crews were expected to stay at the scene until Monday morning to ensure the blaze was extinguished, the police spokesman said.

Rescue efforts were hampered by a large crowd of onlookers.

Rescue workers and investigators were not able to enter the building late Sunday as it was considered too unstable.

The fire may have been caused by a technical fault in the washing machines or dryers that were in the cellar, police said, adding that investigations were ongoing.

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