A blackened structure is all that remains of a hostel for the homelss in Poland — evidence of the ferocity of the fire that swept through it claiming at least 22 lives.
Almost 80 people were thought to have been living there and many remain unaccounted for, so it is feared the death toll will rise. Around 20 people were injured, some of them critically. The government is offering help to the survivors. Prime Minister Donald Tusk, visiting the scene, said: “The authorities want to help the victims. The most important task is to secure provisional shelter for those people. We’ve also set up a bank account to collect donations for the victims.” It is still not clear what caused the fire that broke out overnight in the town of Kamien Pomorski. Witnesses say many of the residents used potentially dangerous oil or electric heaters to warm their rooms, but it is not yet known if this was a factor. What is clear is that the flames spread with incredible speed. People were seen jumping from windows with their clothes on fire. One survivor said the first ladders used were too short to reach the third floor.