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Nine elderly residents killed in fire at Bulgarian nursing home

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
Police and investigators are seen on the burned roof at the nursing home in Royak.
Police and investigators are seen on the burned roof at the nursing home in Royak.   -   Copyright  Lubomir Benkovsky/Bulphoto Agency via AP

Nine elderly residents have died after a fire swept through a nursing home in eastern Bulgaria.

The blaze broke out at an old school building in the village of Royak, which was transformed into a nursing home.

The fire started at around 18:00 local time while dozens of residents were preparing for dinner, officials said.

The Interior Ministry said the blaze "started from the roof of the building" but the cause is not yet known.

“Unfortunately, nine people passed away out of the 58 who were in the home at the time,” fire inspector Tihomir Totev told reporters.

Most of the residents had to be evacuated from the building and some received medical treatment for smoke inhalation, he added.

An investigation has been launched into the deadly fire, which took two hours to be extinguished.