28 apartments evacuated

Return after fire drama: “It was a close call”

10.07.2024 10:00

28 apartments in a high-rise building in Vöcklabruck (Upper Austria) were evacuated during a major fire on Monday night, but the tenants have now been able to return. The cause of the fire was probably negligent use of a lighter. The damage caused amounts to several hundred thousand euros.

Fire department breathing apparatus teams fought their way into the completely smoke-filled stairwell and gradually brought families and their children out of the tower block. There, other residents, some of them totally distraught, had to watch as flames leapt out of an apartment on the fourth floor - the "Krone " reported on the devastating fire in Vöcklabruck, as a result of which ten people were taken to hospital.

Apartment not habitable
After the dramatic night, there was good news for the residents of the 28 apartments that were evacuated on Sunday evening: They were almost all allowed to return. "However, the burnt-out apartment is no longer habitable", says Vöcklabruck's mayor Peter Schobesberger.

After the lockdown, almost all residents were allowed to return. (Bild: Dostal Harald)
After the lockdown, almost all residents were allowed to return.

"Not a trivial apartment fire"
Previously, half of the tower block had been closed off. "A large number of residents stayed with friends or acquaintances, some in a hotel," reports Schobesberger. Other residents were taken to the Vöcklabruck fire station and treated there.

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It was an incredibly tight story. If the emergency services had arrived five or ten minutes later, I don't know what we would be talking about.

Peter Schobesberger, Bürgermeister von Vöcklabruck

For local chief Schobesberger, it was "not a trivial house fire, it could have turned out very differently. I spoke to people involved in the operation. If the emergency services had arrived five or ten minutes later, I don't know what we would be talking about."

Couch fire was the trigger
In the meantime, fire investigators have been able to clarify the cause of the fire, which broke out in the apartment of an 84-year-old woman. The starting point is likely to have been the negligent use of a lighter or similar. This caused the couch to catch fire - and the disaster took its course. The police do not believe it was deliberate arson. The property damage amounts to several hundred thousand euros.

This article has been automatically translated,
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