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Prosecutors say holiday home in Wintzenheim did not meet safety standards

Fire rages at a vacation home in town of Wintzenheim
Fire rages at a vacation home in town of Wintzenheim Copyright AP/AP
Copyright AP/AP
By Euronews with agencies
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Officials say the holiday home in eastern France where 11 people died in a fire on Wednesday, was not authorised to accommodate members of the public.

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Prosecutors investigating a fire at a holiday home in eastern France said on Thursday that the building was unlicensed and didn't comply with the required fire safety standards.

Eleven people died in the blaze that broke out in the early hours of Wednesday in the small town of Wintzenheim, outside Colmar in the Alsace region.

It was the deadliest such fire disaster in the country since a 2016 blaze in a bar in the northern city of Rouen killed 14 people.

"The lodging had not undergone the safety inspection which is obligatory," said Nathalie Kielwasser, deputy prosecutor for the city of Colmar.

Officials say the structure, renovated in 2019, has "no legal existence" and was not authorised to accommodate members of the public.

It is officially classified as a stable, topped by a barn.

The town's deputy mayor, Daniel Leroy, told reporters that the establishment was not authorised to run its business at the house.

There had also never been a request for authorisation to make the building accessible for disabled people.

The holiday home was rented for the summer by two charities that take care of people with learning disabilities.

A vacation home with more than 15 beds requires a permit and an official inspection. None of this was done at the property. It remains unclear what caused the blaze.

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