Initial Reports of 10 Killed in Orphanage Fire
An orphanage for disabled children caught fire in Haapsalu, with initial reports of ten fatalities and many children hospitalized.
Viktor Saaremets, an official with the western Estonian rescue centre, told uudised.err.ee that 10 children had been killed.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves released a statement of condolences and called for flags to be flown at half-mast on February 21.
Witnesses said the building in the coastal town of 10,000 was in flames at 2:30pm on February 20. According to the local newspaper Lääne Elu, the building caught fire quickly and the middle part of the structure has collapsed.
Postimees reported that the orphanage was home to around 40 children. All of them had disabilities ranging from severe to profound. It employs a staff of 37.