At Least 11 Feared Dead After Fire In Holiday Cottage In Alsace Region Of France

Image of Haut-Rein fire appliance in France.

Image of Haut-Rein fire appliance in France. Credit: Twitter@sdis68

A cottage for disabled people was devastated by a fire this morning, August 9, in the town of Wintzenheim near Colmar in the Alsace region of northeastern France.

The Haut-Rhin prefecture initially indicated that 11 people ‘could still be missing’ before announcing almost immediately that the 11 missing people were ‘potentially deceased’. Ten adults with mild intellectual disabilities and one caregiver are believed to be among the victims.

‘Unfortunately, there are not many doubts, all these people were present in the home and did not come out’, said Christophe Marot, the secretary general of the Haut-Rhin prefecture.

It is believed that a group of adults were staying in the home after visiting for the summer holidays from the French city of Nancy.

Drones were deployed to assist the firefighters

Daniel Leroy, the deputy mayor of the municipality of Wintzenheim, explained that by the end of the morning, drone operators had located three lifeless bodies. Another nine were also found by firefighters who had been deployed to the incident.

A total of 17 residents of the home were evacuated as soon as the alarm was raised. In a statement, the prefecture stressed that: ‘The fire was quickly brought under control despite the violence of the flames’.

It specified: ‘Seventeen people were evacuated. One person in a relative emergency was evacuated to the hospital along with one who was in shock. On-site, 76 firefighters, four fire engines, four ambulances, an advanced medical post, and three ladders were deployed to contain the fire and provide care for the victims. 40 gendarmes are also mobilised’.

French PM, Elisabeth Borne will visit the site

Elisabeth Borne, the Prime Minister, announced that she was travelling to the scene, accompanied by Aurore Bergé, the Minister of Solidarity and Families.

She tweeted: ‘Following the terrible fire that took place in Wintzenheim last night, I am going there with @auroreberge. My first thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones. I salute the mobilisation of the firefighters’.

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, addressed his ‘thoughts’ to the victims and their loved ones in a post on Twitter.

‘In Wintzenheim, the flames ravaged a lodging which accommodated people with disabilities and their companions. Faced with this tragedy, my thoughts go out to the victims, to the injured, to their loved ones. Thank you to our security forces and our mobilized emergency services’, he wrote.

A reception area has reportedly been set up by the authorities for any relatives who would like to visit the site, according to

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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