ARSON SUSPECTED IN COURCHEVEL FIRE
24th January 2019
Investigators say that a fire that killed two people in the resort of Courchevel may have been started deliberately.
We reported on the tragedy last Sunday just hours after the blaze broke out.
Two people died, four were seriously hurt and more than 20 others injured in the fire at a block housing seasonal workers in the heart of Courchevel 1850.
There were rumours of arson and here at PlanetSKI we saw social media posts about the issue.
We were contacted by people from the resort claiming it was arson.
Now local prosecutors have spoken out.
“We are treating seriously the theory that this could have been a criminal act, but we do not have enough evidence to be able to identify the perpetrators,” said local prosecutor, Anne Gaches.
It is thought a flammable chemical may have been used to help the fire spread.
“The victims smelt petrol just before the fire, and witnesses also said they had smelt petrol a month earlier,” she added.
A 32-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man were killed in the fire.
Meanwhile the parents of a young woman badly injured in the fatal blaze at the weekend say they don’t know if she’ll walk again.
Ambre Corci, who’s 24, broke her vertebrae jumping from the third floor of the burning building in the French ski resort early on Sunday morning.
“Our 24-year-old daughter, Ambre, was seriously injured in the deadly fire that occurred in Courchevel on January 20, 2019,” her mother, Isabelle Corci says in a Facebook post.
“She was trapped by the flames and had no choice but to jump into the void, breaking the vertebrae; we do not know to this day whether she will regain the use of her legs.”
Isabelle Corci and her husband Alain, who live near Montpelier in the south of France, are appealing for evidence about the state of the building.
In her Facebook post Isabelle Corci asks current or former seasonaires to pass on information “that safety equipment was not up to standard, smoke detectors were missing, non-functioning fire extinguishers, and locked emergency exits”.
She says the testimony of witnesses is crucial.
“If this equipment had been functioning, evacuation could have happened, leaving a chance for the victims.”
Ms Corci says these tragedies do not happen only to other people and she wants to ensure nothing likes it happens again.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
For the Spirit of the Mountains – PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news