Three people have died in a fire which broke out at an Ida-Viru County boarding house late on Tuesday night.
Emergency services were informed of the blaze, at the Männiku boarding house in Lüganuse municipality, just after 10.15 p.m.
The blaze had taken a hold of the building by the time first responders arrived, ERR reports. A Rescue Board (Päästeamet) spokesperson said that it was difficult to access the boarding house due to the volume of snow. The Rescue Board said that a little after 11.30 p.m., a bulldozer had been found to help with clearing snow drifts.
Forty-five residents and two staff were in the bulding when the fire started. Three people died, with one hospitalized.
Fire service and other first responders from the nearby towns of Jõhvi, Kohtla-Järve, Iisaku, Sillamäe, Kiviõli, Rakvere and Kunda were all called to the scene.
The Rescue Board says the fire was fully extinguished at 3.29 a.m., several hours after it broke out.
The remainder of the residents have been relocated to alternative accommodation.
Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) expressed his condolences over the incident on his social media account.
"My deepest condolences to the relatives of those who tragically died in the fire at the Männiku boarding house. I wish the injured strong health and recovery. I thank the Rescue Board and Lüganuse Parish for their quick response, which helped save many more lives," Kiik wrote.
Outgoing Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) also posted his sympathies on his social media account. "I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family members and relatives of the victims, as well as to all residents and employees of the boarding house. I also wish all a speedy recovery and peaceful refuge."
Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte