No Charges Brought in Haapsalu Foster Home Fire ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

A criminal investigation into the Haapsalu foster home fire that claimed the lives of eight disabled children and two adults in February has come to an end with no charges brought, as prosecutors could not determine who was responsible for the blaze.

The investigation, which began the day after the tragedy, found no evidence that any unauthorized people were in or near the building when the fire started, nor did it identify anyone whose actions could have caused the fire, the Western District Prosecutor's Office said.

"Since pretrial procedures have so far not established a perpetrator, nor the fact that the fire at the foster home was caused by anyone's deliberate actions or careless handling of fire, and it is not possible to gather additional evidence, the case was closed," the office's decision read.

However, materials were sent to the West Estonian Rescue Center for the start of disciplinary proceedings against the senior fire safety specialist Galina Kiivit to determine whether she failed in her professional duties.

The Rescue Center has already announced that it will drop the proceedings, since an internal investigation has cleared Kiivit of any possible negligence. All inspection duties were carried aout in accordance with the law.

A forensic report released in March said that the fire started due to open flame near the entrance to the north wing of the building where there were several pieces of furniture that could have potentially fueled the blaze.

The care home's director rejected the findings, saying that there was no way anyone would have had an open flame in the area in question.


Steve Roman

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