INVESTIGATION AFTER 2 DIE & DOZENS INJURED IN COURCHEVEL FIRE
20th January 2019
Questions are raised about smoke alarms & fire extinguishers after the blaze in a seasonaires building in Courchevel 1850. UPDATED
The huge fire broke out at around 4.30 on Sunday morning and affected the top two floors of a four-storey building.
It was used to house around 60 seasonal workers, some of them foreigners.
Many British people work in the resort but there are no details if any were affected.
Two people died, four were seriously hurt and 21 others less badly injured.
The two who died were found inside the building by firefighters. They are yet to be formally identified.
Some in the block escaped by jumping from their balconies, still in their nightwear.
Those who fled were taken to shelter in a building in the Croisette.
On Tuesday, the Mayor of Courchevel, Philippe Mugnier’s office said that all the seasonal workers who had lost their home had been rehoused.
Locals have been donating clothes and other essential items and a fund has been set up to help them with their immediate expenses.
M. Mugnier told French media that the building had been due to be renovated in the Spring but that he was not aware that it was in a poor condition.
Some residents have said that fire extinguishers in the building did not work and that there were no smoke alarms.
The resort posted this photo in remembrance of the victims on their social media pages on Tuesday, with the words “all united”.
More than 130 firefighters were involved in tackling the blaze, along with gendarmes and the local police.
It was brought under control by dawn.
The cause is not yet known.
Footage from the scene shows fire crews using ladders to try to rescue people from inside the building.
One video, posted on social media, shows at least one person jumping from an upper floor window.
Three of the four seriously injured – two of whom had leapt from the building – were flown to hospital by helicopter.
The Courchevel town hall set up an emergency number for concerned relatives.
It is 0800 008 902.
The representative for the Savoie in the French National Assembly, Emilie Bonnivard, has expressed her shock and sadness at the news.
The identities of those killed have not yet been established.
British ski companies who operate in the resort have reacted:
“In the case of those seriously injured, it’s impossible to specify whether their injuries came from a fall.”
“Because the fire was on the third floor, some people jumped to save their lives,” said Frédéric Loiseau, a local government official, to the French broadcaster BFMTV.
“There were carbon monoxide emissions, and there were burns.”
Local prosecutors and police have launched an investigation.
The France Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, tweeted condolences to the families and friends of the dead.
He also paid tribute to the firemen who tackled the blaze.
Here at PlanetSKI we’ll bring you more news on this story as we get it…
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