January 6, 2020 / 9:50 AM / 2 months ago

Polish hospice fire kills four

CHOJNICE, Poland (Reuters) - Four people died and more than 20 were injured in a fire at a Polish hospice in the early hours of on Monday that could have been caused by a patient smoking a cigarette, officials said.

Three people died at the site of the 3 a.m. fire in the town of Chojnice, while the fourth died on the way to hospital, regional governor Dariusz Drelich told a news conference broadcast on TVN television.

“It was initially established that the fire could have been caused by one of the patients who was likely smoking a cigarette,” police spokesman Michal Sienkiewicz said, according to state news agency PAP.

Rescue efforts were hampered by the patients’ poor health and limited mobility and by large amounts of smoke, a spokesman for Poland’s State Fire Service told TVN.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach a police spokesperson.

Reporting by Alicja Ptak and Joanna Plucinska; Editing by Giles Elgood

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