Victims critically wounded in Arnhem fire show signs of improvement

Brandweer fire department Volkswagen
Stock image of a Dutch fire department Volkswagen vehiclephoto: cakifoto / DepositPhotos

The health condition of a 36-year-old mother and her 8-year-old daughter, both critically injured in an Arnhem apartment fire, was improving, with both still dealing with serious injuries that were no longer considered life threatening. Two other family members were killed in the fire, the father, 39, and their son, 4.

All four were stuck in an elevator that stopped suddenly when the flames caused a power failure at about 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Tragedy ensued when the elevator shaft filled with smoke.

Once the lobby was boarded up, people placed flowers, stuffed animals, and candles in front of the Gelderseplein building as a memorial to the victims.

Police took two boys, aged 12 and 13, into custody on New Year's Day under suspicion of causing the fatal arson. They were being questioned on Thursday for the second straight day, according to a report by Omroep Gelderland.

Investigators were looking into he possibility that the fire was caused by fireworks in the entryway, which ignited a couch. On Thursday, the Dutch Safety Board joined officials trying to determine what happened at the apartment building.

The high-rise building is owned by housing corporation Vivare. "It will piss me off if there were actually fireworks in the portico," Vivare housing corporation boss Eric Angenent told RTL Nieuws after the fire was extinguished. He argued that consumers should no longer have access to fireworks, legal or otherwise.



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