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Two adults, nine-day-old infant die in Berlin apartment fire

The Local · 12 Mar 2011, 14:50

Published: 12 Mar 2011 14:50 GMT+01:00

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Newspaper Der Tagesspiegel said the fire broke out in the stairwell of the building, where a stroller was allegedly torched after being doused in an accelerant.

The fire department said a man died from his injuries after jumping from the first upper story of the building on Sonnenallee. A woman and an infant were found dead on the same floor.

According to the daily Berliner Morgenpost, the baby was just nine days old.

Police said the victims were likely three family members. The fire reportedly began while residents were asleep.

Der Tagesspiegel said 20 others were taken to the hospital, some with signs of severe smoke inhalation.

A police spokesman described "dramatic scenes" at the site of the fire. Witnesses reported seeing panicked residents call for help from their open windows. Three people jumped from the building into an air rescue cushion set up by fire crews.

The blaze was brought under control at about 7 a.m. Two apartments were so severely damaged that they are no longer habitable. Sonnenallee, which is a major thoroughfare in the southern part of Berlin, was completely blocked off until midday Saturday.

The newspaper said the area around Sonnenallee has seen repeated arson attacks in recent years, involving prams set on fire in apartment hallways.

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:19 March 12, 2011 by catjones
Time to end the euphemisms. Graffiti Artists are Vandals, Auto Anarchists are Arsonists, Pram Rebels are Murderers and all are Criminals.
17:33 March 12, 2011 by Simon_Kellett
Sounds like a neighbour dispute gone wrong :-(
19:11 March 12, 2011 by Freeman
Bet higher rents now b'cause of the onlookers.
20:16 March 12, 2011 by BobbyDigital
Maybe they should think about using smoke detectors!
11:21 March 13, 2011 by LavendarFlower
This is so tragic. I hope they find who did this and charge them with first-degree murder. I believe landlords should be required to install smoke detectors in apartments, and tenants should be responsible for testing them and maintaining the batteries.
15:15 March 13, 2011 by Zlik
My Neukölln lanldord let winter frozen pipes in 2009 and the resulting " Water Damage" keep me homeless for over a year now and he still has not lifted a da*m* finger . What about Japan and Tsunami???? His karma continues...lol
22:38 March 13, 2011 by wood artist
I guess I'm really surprised. Given the comments, are smoke detectors not required? Given the other regulations Germany has, I'm truly amazed that hasn't been addressed.

00:41 March 14, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Like in NYC, they should require Fire Escapes fixed to the exterior of the building. Every Apartment should have access to a fire escape. It saves a lot of lives.
09:28 March 14, 2011 by HansT
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:12 March 14, 2011 by idiot
> are smoke detectors not required?

Smoke detectors are required in since 23.08.2005 already.
15:07 March 14, 2011 by derExDeutsche
I'm guessing; this isn't the work of a 'Serial Pram Arsonist'

This is a case of people leaving their kids stuff out int the hallway of a shared building, where it shouldn't be. Then passive aggressive, grumpy, German neighbors trip over it, day in, day out. And, when nothing changed, they lit it on fire. I would be looking at the neighbors.
01:51 March 15, 2011 by LavendarFlower
Interesting that someone says smoke detectors are required. But who is required to install them? We had to buy and install our own. Not a big deal for us, but many people do not own a power-drill, and not everyone has the ability to install smoke detectors correctly.
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