A fire at a French holiday home for disabled adults has killed 11 people

PARIS (AP) — Eleven people were killed in a deadly fire Wednesday at a vacation home for the disabled in eastern France, an official said.

Colmer’s deputy prosecutor, Nathalie Kielwasser, said 11 people were trapped in the fire while sleeping on the upper floor and mezzanine of the private hotel in the town of Windzenheim.

They managed to evacuate 12 people staying on the ground floor, he said.

Adults with “slight cognitive impairments” were on holiday with the support of two specialist organisations, he said.

Investigations are underway to determine the circumstances of the fire and whether the building met all required safety standards, he said.

One of the survivors was sent to the hospital with serious injuries, officials said.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Bourne arrived at the scene on Wednesday afternoon. He said he wanted to show the government’s support to the families of the victims and to the firefighters and rescue workers.

Lt. Col. Philip Hawiller, who led the rescue efforts of firefighters, said the fire may have spread to the top floor of the house.

The ground floor was made of stone and the upper part of the building was built entirely of wood in the traditional style of the region, which may partly explain why the fire spread so quickly.

The Haut-Rhin region’s local administration said the fire broke out around 6:30 a.m. Christophe Marot, secretary-general of the local administration, told news broadcaster France Info that 10 disabled people and one person with a group were believed to be involved. Be among the dead.

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A statement from the Haut-Rhin prefecture said many of the visitors came from the city of Nancy in eastern France.

No other information about the victims was provided.

The fire department deployed 76 firefighters, four fire engines and four ambulances to douse the fire and treat the victims. Forty police officers were also rounded up. The fire was brought under control on Wednesday morning.

French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter: “In the face of this tragedy, my thoughts are with the victims, the injured and their families. Thank you to our security forces and emergency services.”

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AP writer Youssef Bounab in Paris contributed to this story.

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