The fire brigade is there within a few minutes - but the help comes too late for an adult and a child. They lose their lives in a fire in an apartment building in Flensburg's Neustadt late Thursday afternoon. Other residents save themselves by jumping out of the window. There are nine injured, according to the emergency services.
The head of the professional fire brigade in Flensburg, Carsten Herzog, said in the evening that the emergency services described the images to him as dramatic: "People who are trying to save themselves. People who lived nearby or left the house originated and tried to save others." The cause of the fire was not known as of evening. Nothing further was announced about the identity of the victims.
Onlookers are filming at the scene of the fire
Herzog continues: "We have to deal with a mission that I can't remember in the last 15 years." The fire brigade was at the scene of the fire in northern Flensburg about eight minutes after the alarm was raised. At that point, more than a hundred people were already on the street, most of them wanting to help the residents. But there were also onlookers and people who made videos that later circulated on the Internet.
"When the fire brigade arrived, we found that an apartment building was on fire and several people were still in the building," said fire brigade operations manager Marco Litzkow of the German Press Agency in Flensburg. "We have a total of eleven affected people, two deceased. It is a child and an adult." The injured were taken to hospitals by ambulance.
The adult dead person was still in the building late in the evening. The body has not yet been recovered because there is a risk of collapse, said Herzog. "The stairwell burned down completely." The attic is just a skeleton. According to Herzog, the professional fire brigade, four voluntary fire brigades, 13 ambulances and three ambulances were on site. In addition, dozens of police officers, emergency chaplains and other emergency services.
No more missing
The number of dead and injured is the secured number, said the fire chief. "We hope that the numbers will not increase, but we cannot completely rule it out." The building could not be searched to the last corner. In addition, it cannot be ruled out that people have gone to the hospital themselves. By late evening, no one was missing.
Hours after the fire broke out, firefighters extinguished the burning roof from turntable ladders with a thick jet of water. Stacked mattresses lie in front of the house. According to Herzog, some of the residents of the house jumped out of windows - from what height, he could not yet say.
Where exactly the fire broke out in the house, the operations manager of the fire brigade could not say at first. "It was on fire from the first floor to the top when we arrived." The building is definitely no longer habitable. The residents were cared for in the evening and emergency shelters were sought for them. Emergency chaplains were also on fire.
OB: Videos on the web intolerable
Flensburg's Lord Mayor Fabian Geyer (independent) visited the scene of the fire late in the evening and spoke to emergency services. He was shocked and expressed his deepest condolences to the victims and their families. He also sharply condemned videos of the fire circulating on the Internet. "You're caught up in the feelings between incomprehension, anger, anger, speechlessness, that people (...) when others are fighting for their lives (...) enjoy filming it and putting it on the Internet." It has nothing to do with how a civilized society should behave. It is intolerable.
The police had previously appealed to the population not to share videos of the fire on social media. "People are affected, who of course mourn," said a police spokeswoman. According to initial findings, gaffers made videos of the burning house and shared them on the Internet. "We will also consider criminal prosecution."