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Three injured after fire breaks out at German residential complex

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By AP
Firefighters battle a fire at residential complex in Essen Germany, Feb. 21, 2022.
Firefighters battle a fire at residential complex in Essen Germany, Feb. 21, 2022.   -   Copyright  Stephan Witte/KDF-TV/dpa via AP   -  

A huge fire broke out in an apartment building in the western German city of Essen early Monday, and three people were taken to a hospital after inhaling smoke, authorities said.

The fire service said that about 100 people were evacuated from the building, roughly the number of people who lived there, news agency dpa reported. Officials said no one was missing.

About 150 firefighters were dispatched to battle the blaze. The cause wasn’t immediately clear.

The city’s fire service said the first caller reported a fire on a balcony of the complex, which was built in 2015.

It said that gusts from the latest of a series of storms that have hit northern Europe in recent days appear to have helped the fire spread quickly along the building’s balcony and thermally insulated facade. The flames then made their way into apartments through shattered windows.

The blaze was brought under control on Monday morning. The fire service said large parts of the building were in danger of collapsing.