A fire in a Berlin appartment block has left eight people dead including five children. The five-storey building in the German capital is home to mostly immigrant families. Though authorities do not think the fire was racially motivated they believe it was arson.The first of 150 firemen was said to be at the scene within five minutes of being alerted to the blaze. It broke out late last night in the building’s stairwell, the fire brigade puts the high death toll down to panic. One fireman claimed bad German comprehension among the inhabitants made matters worse. He added that several rushed down the stairwell to their deaths, instead of staying put in their flats. Some residents contradict the firebrigade’s claims of a prompt response.
They blame the service for what has turned out to be the deadliest fire in the German capital in 60 years and accuse it of taking far too long to respond to their call for help.