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Fire at care center in Reutlingen
The cause of the fire at a facility for the mentally ill is still unclear. © Kohls/SDMG/dpa

Dramatic scenes in a care center in Reutlingen: a fire breaks out. Several people die. The forces are shocked. The cause is not clear.

Reutlingen: Firefighters reach the scene in six minutes, but can no longer save three people. They died on Tuesday night in a mental care facility in Reutlingen (Baden-Württemberg).

According to prior knowledge, they died from smoke inhalation, the emergency doctor Jörg-Uwe Renz reported Tuesday evening. Y: Two other people were in mortal danger when they were rescued from the building.

Mayor speaks of “black night”

“It’s a black night for Reutlingen,” Mayor Thomas Keck (SPD) said at a press conference at the crash site. Facility manager Gerhard Längle adds: “It’s just a disaster.”

According to the fire department chief, the fire broke out in a living room on the first floor and was confined to a patient room. “It was a huge psychological burden for the teams that were there. We alert our psychological aftercare,” says Martin Reicherter.

The nursing home specialized in social psychiatry welcomes people with mental illnesses who also need nursing care. The housing operator’s description on its website states that there are 38 residents in groups of eight living in six individual apartments.

The burning room was intensely hot.

“When we got to the door of the building, a person with a face blackened by soot was already sitting outside and being attended to by staff,” Reicherter reports of the start of the operation. “They said: ‘There is a fire on the first floor, there are still five children there!'” The facility’s medical director says it is a facility that provides integration assistance for people with mental illness who are at least 50 years old. They live there long term.

The fire brigade commander continues: “Then we gradually sent more teams. But the fire was actually almost over.” In the room where the fire broke out, lime and plaster had flaked from the ceiling to the floor. This indicates it was extremely hot.

because it’s still not clear

The entire living room with several rooms was heavily covered in soot. During the operation, someone noticed a window. “But the person was in a secure area and was being treated there,” Reicherter said.

The emergency services treated eleven patients who “did not present injuries,” says the chief emergency physician. However, to be safe, they were taken to the central emergency room, where they will be examined again, “so that no smoke poisoning is missed,” as the doctor puts it.

The cause of the fire is still being determined. “We are still at the beginning,” a police spokesman says in the evening. There is also no information on the identity of the three deceased people. dpa

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