Fire at Czech home for disabled kills eight


PRAGUE – Eight people were killed and 30 were injured in a fire early on Sunday at a Czech home for people with disabilities, fire and rescue officials told public broadcaster Czech Television.

The fire occurred in Vejprty on the country’s northwest border with Germany in a home where mostly men with mental and other disabilities lived.

It was the second deadliest blaze in the country’s three-decade post-communist history. In 2010, a fire in an abandoned building often used by homeless people in Prague killed nine people. A hotel fire in the capital in 1995 killed eight.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis called the fire “a terrible tragedy”, saying on Twitter that police and firefighters were doing their utmost.

The cause of the fire was not yet known.

The blaze was reported just before 5 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Sunday. Firefighters were able to contain the fire and put it out within hours.

Dennik N newspaper reported that the fire started in one room and that most of those killed died from smoke inhalation.