Milan retirement home fire - firefighters outside building

Milan retirement home fire – 6 dead

By Region News North-west Italy

A Milan retirement home fire resulted in the death of 6 people, with 81 hospitalised. 67 of the hospitalised have since been discharged. Whoever’s fault it is, they must pay, says Milan mayor.

Six people died and 81 hospitalised after a fire broke out in a room in a Milan retirement home.

The alarm was raised in the early hours of Friday at the Casa dei Coniugi home for the elderly. Whilst the blaze was quickly contained, the mayor of Milan said rescuers had to remove residents “almost one by one by the arm”.

Mayor Giuseppe Sala told reporters “six deaths is a very heavy toll”. However, he said it could also have been worse.

Evidence points to the fire starting in a room shared by two women. They both died. The four other deaths were caused by smoke inhalation. Ansa reported five of the six victims were women.

“The fumes are as lethal as the fire,” said Mr Sala.

81 people were taken to hospital suffering from smoke poisoning. Fourteen were said to be in a serious condition. Subsequently, 67 residents have been discharged.

The residents have been relocated to other places in Milan, such as Pio Albergo Trivulzio, Don Gnocchi Foundation, Golgi Redaelli, Rsa Adriano, Rsa Girola and Famagosta.

Who owns the retirement home?

The retirement home, in the Corvetto area of southern Milan, is owned by the city authority. However, it is run by a group that manages hundreds of residences across the country.

The home housed 167 people with differing levels of care requirements.

“If there is responsibility, whoever made a mistake, including the Municipality, will have to pay. The fact remains that unfortunately six people died,” the mayor told Rai News 24.

The maintenance of the Rsa – retirement home – was opened to tender last year. The smoke detection system in the ‘Casa per Coniugi’ is believed to have been out of order.

“The tender had been open for some time”, observed Sala, “and it is no mystery either that the times of the public administration are not fast, nor that there are so many structures that deserve extraordinary maintenance throughout Italy”.

“Now why the company that guarantees the management of this property has not done it well enough is not up to me to say”, concluded the mayor; “there are ongoing investigations”.

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