Care home fires kill 14 in Croatia and Czech Republic
National and international media report that a fire in a nursing home in Andraševec, 30 km north of Zagreb in Croatia, has killed six of the 20 residents. The fire was reported at around 05:00 on Saturday, 11 January. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic visited the scene and confirmed the deaths.
Just over a week later, a fire killed eight residents of a home for the disabled in the Czech Republic. Media report that this fire was reported at 04:49 on Sunday, 19 January in Vejprty, a town on the border with Germany. Firefighters attended within 10 minutes and were aided by colleagues from Germany. The building had 35 residents, mainly men with mental disabilities.
Neither country requires sprinklers in buildings housing such high risk occupants. Data from the US shows that sprinklers reduce the fire death rate in nursing homes by over 80%. Sprinklers are already required in care homes in northern European countries and awareness of their fire safety benefits is growing elsewhere in Europe.