Wednesday, 6 July, 2022

Care home fire kills four in Bulgaria

SOFIA: A fire at a retirement home in eastern Bulgaria has killed four residents, police said Sunday, and the latest blaze to strike a care home in the country, reports AFP.

An 88-year-old woman and three men aged 73-78 died in the overnight blaze in the city of Varna, regional police official Petya Kupova said.

An 83-year-old woman was clinging on to life, Kupova said.

Investigators have not ruled out arson by a resident suffering psychiatric problems at the home which lacks care staff, particularly at night.

Last July, four people died in a fire at another home with the same owner and in November, nine people perished at a home also in the Varna region.

Probes into those fires are still underway but prosecutors have said numerous rules were being broken in retirement homes around the region.

The latest blaze follows complaints from relatives of residents of a psychiatric clinic about ill-treatment and even deaths shortly after admission to the facility.

The Council of Europe underlined in November the "persistent inability" of Bulgaria to adopt reforms to modernise social and psychiatric care homes, despite 25 years of reports on the issue from the council's Committee for the Prevention of Torture.