14 October 2004
BRUSSELS – Two four-year-old children have been killed in a house fire in Marcinelle, near Charleroi.
The fire broke out in the house’s living room at dawn on Thursday morning.
Motorists on Charleroi’s ring road were the first to call the fire brigade after they spotted smoke billowing out of the second storey of the family home.
Fire fighters had difficulty reaching the children because of their location.
The fire is thought to have broken out in the living room, with the likely cause being either a short-circuit or overheating in the radio-TV.
The house was occupied by a young couple, with their 14 year old daughter and four-year-old twins.
Finding themselves trapped by the fire, the couple tried to protect their children by taking refuge in the back of the converted attic but they were all overcome by smoke.
The father was taken to a burns unit with serious burns and the mother and older daughter were also admitted to hospital.
Emergency services tried to revive the twins at the scene before transporting them to the clinic but they died at around 10am.
The urgent medical aid service, SMUR, was on another call-out in the region at the time of the fire and this delayed treatment for the youngest victims.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news