Tartu house fire started near refrigerators

The fire that killed five people in Ihaste, Tartu, on Tuesday evening started close to refrigerators on the ground floor of the house, preliminary investigations show.

Head of the Southern Rescue Center Margo Klaos said the cause of the fire has not been conclusively confirmed but investigators have ruled out the fireplace as the starting place.

"The starting point of the fire was by the refrigerators," Klaos said at a Rescue Board press conference on Wednesday. Klaos said it is too early to say whether the problem may have been in the refrigerator, the connections, or the electrical wiring.

Klaos said so far no traces of smoke detectors have been found in the house.

Southern District Attorney Raul Heido said criminal proceedings have been initiated to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident. "Currently, there is nothing to suggest malice but it was a tragic accident," Heido said.

He said experts have been appointed to the case but determining the results will take time. 

Klaos said rescuers received a call about the fire in Ihaste shortly before midnight saying the house had a family inside. The caller was a neighbor but he did not detect the fire in the early stages. First responders reached the scene within six minutes but could not save the situation as the fire was too advanced.

The victims were a family which included three young boys aged, one, three, and seven along with a woman aged 27 and a man aged 38.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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