A fire in a nursing home in Milan causes six deaths and 81 injured | International

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The police evacuate the body of one of the victims of the fire declared in a nursing home in Milan, this Friday.GABRIEL BOUYS (AFP)

At least six people have died and another 81 have been injured in a fire that broke out on Thursday night in a nursing home in Milan, in northern Italy, the city's firefighters have reported. “Six people died and many others, poisoned (by smoke), were hospitalized. Firefighters saved dozens of residents," they said in a tweet.

The flames started in one of the rooms around 01:20 a.m. and reached the two women who occupied it, aged 69 and 87, who died charred. “It could have been worse, but six deaths is a very high balance. We also intervened quite early", the mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, told the press at the scene of the tragedy. "But a fire in a 15 square meter room develops very quickly," he added.

The other four victims are three women aged 75, 84 and 85 and a 73-year-old man, who have died of poisoning caused by the smoke that flooded the first floor of the building. Italian press agencies have reported that at least two of the injured are in critical condition and that 170 residents of the center have been evacuated. The causes of the incident are still unknown, although the main hypothesis is that of an accidental fire, firefighters have informed the media.

The alarm was given by service personnel and this allowed the flames to be contained, since only one room was affected, but the problem was the smoke, which spread rapidly. In fact, all those hospitalized had more or less severe symptoms of poisoning, but none have suffered burns.

The residence, called Casa per Coniugi, is located on Via dei Cinquecento, in the southeast of Milan, is owned by the City Council and is managed by the Proges cooperative, which controls 300 centers of this type in 11 regions. It welcomes elderly people with different degrees of dependency, but who do not need hospital care. The building dates from 1920 and is divided into three floors and 12 units, two of which are for Alzheimer's patients.

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