Housing block blaze kills 4, injures 20 others in western Germany

At least four people were killed and about 20 others were reportedly injured in a residential building on Sunday in the western German city of Saarbruecken, according to local police.

One person was seriously injured after jumping from the roof of the building to escape the fire, which broke out in the first or second floor at around 1:30 p.m. local time (1230 GMT), news agency DPA reported, citing a police spokesman as saying.

Local police did not tell the number of the injured, the newspaper Saarbruecker Zeitung reported that 20 were injured.

Two of the dead — two men in their 70s — have been identified. The police are searching the building in the afternoon in a bid to check for possible other casualties.

Over 100 rescuers were on the site, who rescued several people in the building with aerial ladders. The cause of fire was unclear at the moment.

Also on Sunday, police opened a “negligent arson” investigation a day after a fire broke out in a high-rise residential building in Berlin’s Marzahn district, injuring 22 people.

A police spokeswoman said that the fire may have broken out in a kitchen inside the 10-story building, large parts of which were destroyed in the fire and are now uninhabitable.

Of the 22 people injured in the blaze, three were in serious condition.

Twenty people were rescued from the building by firefighters.
Efforts to extinguish the fire by about 200 rescue workers — aided by a helicopter — lasted much of the day Saturday, DPA reported.