France fire: At least 11 people missing from disabled holiday home in Wittsenheim

Sebastien Pozon/AFP/Getty Images

A firefighter sprays water after a fire broke out at a home for the disabled in Windzenheim, near Colmar, eastern France, on August 9, 2023.


Authorities say 11 people are missing after a fire broke out at a holiday home in eastern France early Wednesday.

The fire broke out around 6:30 a.m. local time in Wintzenheim, a small town near the German border, 315 miles east of Paris. Haut Rhin province, where Wintzenheim is located, said “violent flames” engulfed about 300 square meters (3,200 square feet) of the 500 square meter (5,400 square foot) structure.

Authorities dispatched 76 firefighters, four fire trucks and four ambulances, and the fire was brought under control by 9 a.m., the province said in a statement. 17 people were evacuated from the building.

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Home stay for disabled people during summer holidays. The group arrived from Nancy, a town about 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of Windzenheim, Hawthorn province said in a statement.

“Despite the swift and brave intervention of the fire department, many casualties were reported and I pay tribute to him,” said Interior Minister Gerald Dormanin.

Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne said she would visit the city with the Minister for Cohesion, Personal Freedom and Disability, Aror Berge.

“My first thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones,” he said. “I appreciate the firefighters’ response.”

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