Fire in Kohtla-Järve apartment block kills one ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

A fire in the same building in Kohtla-Järve in October.
A fire in the same building in Kohtla-Järve in October. Source: Rescue Board

A man was killed in a fire in a social housing apartment block the eastern Estonian town of Kohtla-Järve in the small hours of Sunday. Emergency services attended the incident, which required the evacuation of 23 people.

The Rescue Board (Päästeamet) received an emergency call at a little after 2 a.m. Sunday, reporting a fire in an apartment house on Järveküla tee. Residents were reportedly still trapped inside the building at the time.

First responders had to smash a window on the front door to the building in order to enter; the hallway was by that time full of smoke, a Rescue Board spokesperson said, and a total of 23 people were evacuated from the first and second floors, being taken to a nearby children's home.

Rescue Board teams from the surrounding towns of Jõhvi, Kiviõli, Sillamäe and Narva also attending the scene, as well as those from Kohtla-Järve itself, with the fire under control, though not extinguished, by a little after 3 a.m.

One victim perished in the blaze.

According to ERR's online news in Estonian, this was the second fire in the block in recent months; a fire at the beginning of October caused the evacuation of 46 people and injuries to two Rescue Board personnel, though there were no fatalities that time.

The apartment building contains over 100 units, with 86 residents, and is a social housing project. The Kohtla-Järve municipal government said after the October fire that since there was not full occupancy in the building, those affected could simply move into a new unit in the same building, and also promised to repair the building following the fire damage.

No announcement on what will happen after Saturday night's fire has yet been reported.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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