At Least Six Dead And Around 80 Injured After Nursing Home Fire In Milan, Italy

Image of Milan Fire Brigade.

Image of Milan Fire Brigade. Credit: Twitter@vigilidelfuoco

At least six people are dead with more than 80 injured after a fire broke out this Friday, July 7, in a nursing home in the Italian city of Milan.

According to the Italian news agency ANSA, the blaze occurred at around 1:20 am local time in the Casa per Coniugi nursing home located on Via dei Cinquecento, to the south of Milan.

Firefighting teams were deployed to the scene in an effort to extinguish the flames. Among the deceased were said to be two women.

They were identified as Nadia Rossi, 69, and Laura Blasek, 86, who were roommates in room 809 of the facility and were reportedly caught in the flames while sleeping.

The other four fatalities were identified as Mikhail Duci, 73, Anna Garzia, 85, Loredana Labate, 84, and Paola Castoldi, 75. All four reportedly died of smoke poisoning after a fire began in one of the rooms. It affected mainly the first floor of the building before reaching the second.

A tweet from ANSA read: ‘Five women and a man are the victims of the fire. Two of the women were charred to death, while three women and one man died from smoke fumes. #ANSA‘.

A total of 167 people were in the home at the time of the fire

Luca Cari, a spokesman for the national fire service, confirmed the death toll to Reuters. He said that the fire had been put out and an investigation had been opened. There were 167 people in the nursing home at the time the fire started, who were taken out ‘one by one’, he added.

Giuseppe Sala, the mayor of Milan, assured journalists reporting from the residence that the fire was extinguished very quickly, but that many elderly people had already been poisoned by the smoke.

‘It could have been worse, but six deaths is still a very high balance and we hope that the hospitalised people who are in a delicate situation will not add to the total’, stressed Sala.

81 people were hospitalised, with three critical

Four emergency vehicles, a coordination vehicle and 11 ambulances were dispatched to the scene. Citing regional emergency services, the AGI news agency reported that 81 people had been hospitalised in 15 different facilities, with three of them in critical condition. There are also another 15 with serious injuries, but not fatal.

Casa per Coniugi is a sanitary residence owned by the City of Milan and managed by the Proges cooperative, which controls 300 similar residences.

A cigarette could have started the blaze

The cause of the tragedy will be determined by the forensic investigation that is ongoing involving firefighters and police officers.

Possible faults in the smoke detection system will be analysed but the initial and most concrete hypothesis at the moment is said to be that of a cigarette smoked in bed.

The staff, with the firefighters and those of 118, ‘were exceptional’, said Lucia, who lives in the area and filmed the emergency vehicles that arrived with sirens blaring.

‘I heard that they broke the windows to let the smoke out. I saw the elderly exiting with a rag in front of their mouths so as not to inhale it, they were struggling to breathe’, she explained.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at