Ukraine fire: Fifteen dead as blaze guts home for elderly

image copyrightReuters
image captionCareless handling of electric heaters is believed to have caused the blaze

Ukrainian officials say 15 people died when a fire gutted a house for the elderly in the eastern city of Kharkiv.

Eleven others were hurt, and five of them are now being treated at hospital, officials said.

It took more than an hour for firefighters to put out the fire at the Golden Hour private care home.

Careless handling of electric heaters was believed to have caused the blaze, said Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova.

The fire started on the upper floor of the two-storey apartment building which had been converted into a nursing home, according to the emergencies ministry.

Bars were visible on windows on both floors of the home and smoke was pouring out of the upper floor windows after firefighters forced their way into the building.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has called for an emergency meeting of the government in response to the "terrible fire".

A special government commission is to be set up to investigate the cause of the blaze.

image copyrightUkraine Prosecutor General
image captionBars were visible on windows of both floors of the building

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