No fewer than nine people have lost their lives with two more people feared dead from to a violent fire at French vacation home for people with disabilities.
According to local officials, the blaze broke out on Wednesday around 6:30 a.m. local time (12:30 a.m. ET) at a private cottage hosting adults with disabilities in La Forge in Wintzenheim, near the German border.
The state government said the site hosted two groups of adults with disabilities and two accompanying associations that help disabled people.
The head of the fire rescue operations, Lieutenant-Colonel Philippe Hauwiller, told reporters that so far nine bodies have been found but he said it was difficult to find the remaining missing due to the fire’s impact.
Hauwiller said that those staying on the ground floor were able to evacuate quickly when the blaze broke out.
It’s not clear what sparked the fire, he said.
France has been facing a series of devastating wildfires this summer, as record-breaking heatwaves and droughts have created favourable conditions for the flames to spread.
The most severe fire has been sweeping through the pine forest in the south-western region of Gironde, destroying thousands of hectares of land and forcing thousands of people to leave their homes.
One possible way to rewrite the sentences is:
The fire began in July near Landiras village and firefighters were able to stop it from spreading after it burnt more than 15,000 hectares of land.
But the fire did not die out completely and kept burning in the peaty soil for weeks.
On August 10, the fire flared up again because of the high temperatures and strong winds, and quickly devoured another 6,000 hectares of forest.
The fire also moved into the Landes départment next to Gironde, and a major motorway between Bordeaux and Bayonne had to be closed.
Another possible way to rewrite the sentences is:
More than 1,000 firefighters and several planes dropping water were sent to fight the fire, which endangered many villages and campsites in the area.
The fire came close to 10,000 people, including tourists and residents, who were moved to a safe place.
Some of them ran away on foot because their cars were caught in the fire.
The fire destroyed at least 16 houses near Belin-Béliet village. No one died, but 20 people breathed in smoke and six firefighters were hurt.
The fire in Gironde is the biggest of many wildfires that have hit southern France this year.
Other areas, such as Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Corsica, have also had fires because of the dry and hot weather.
French president, Emmanuel Macron, who was on vacation in the area, met the firefighters and thanked them for their work to stop the fires. He also said he was with the people who suffered from the disaster.
The fires in France are part of a bigger problem of extreme weather events that are connected to climate change.
Scientists say that heatwaves are happening more often and more strongly because of carbon emissions caused by humans.
Other countries near the Mediterranean, such as Greece, Turkey, Spain and Portugal, have also had terrible fires this summer that have killed people and ruined homes.
The United Nations has said that these events will happen more frequently and more badly unless something is done to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Credits: NBC News
[Photo caption: Fire fighters fight fire at a private cottage hosting adults with disabilities in La Forge in Wintzenheim, near the German border]