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Chojnice. Four residents were killed in the fire. The director of the hospice and her deputy before the court, the beginning of the trial

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The trial of Barbara B., the director of the hospice in Chojnice, and her deputy, Jerzy K., has started in connection with a fire in which four residents died in January 2020. The reason was one of the patients starting a fire with a cigarette butt. As the investigators found, the director and her deputy failed to fulfill their obligations in terms of ensuring fire safety.

The trial started on Wednesday in the District Court in Chojnice. The docking participants included Barbara B and Jerzy K., who at the end of March this year, they were indicted for failure to fulfill obligations in the scope of ensuring fire safety. When the fire broke out, Barbara B. was the president of the Palium Foundation and the director of the hospice, while Jerzy K. was the vice-president in the foundation and deputy director in the hospice.

A tragic fire broke out – on January 6, 2020 at 3 a.m. – in the hospice run by the Palium Foundation at Strzelecka Street in Chojnice. As the investigators found out, the reason was one of the inmates igniting a fire with a cigarette butt. The man was killed instantly. Another three people, aged 64 to 72, died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Several other poisoned inmates suffered respiratory damage.

They pleaded not guilty

A few days after the incident, the investigation into the fire from the Chojnice investigators was taken over by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Słupsk.

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Paweł Wnuk from the District Prosecutor’s Office in Słupsk informed that numerous irregularities were found in the hospice, including in the field of compliance with technical and construction fire protection requirements, in the scope of equipping with the required fire and extinguishing devices, in terms of ensuring safety and evacuation possibilities for people staying in the hospice, or in terms of preparing the hospice building for rescue operations.

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A fire in the hospice in ChojniceFive people died in a fire in a hospice in Chojnice (Pomeranian Voivodeship) at night. 20 more were taken to hospitals.tvn24

– In the opinion of the District Prosecutor’s Office in Słupsk, only Barbara B. and Jerzy K., as the director and deputy director, were responsible for the irregularities found in the hospice in the field of fire safety, while these irregularities exposed the residents and employees of the hospice at the time of a sudden threat, which is fire, to the immediate danger of loss of life or serious damage to health – emphasized Wnuk. He also stated that the prosecutor’s office recognizes that the failure of Barbara B. and Jerzy K. to fulfill their duties also contributed to the inadvertent death of four inmates and to the occurrence of severe, medium and light bodily injuries – mainly involving carbon monoxide poisoning – in another eight hospice residents. . Barbara B. and Jerzy K., questioned as suspects, did not plead guilty to the alleged offenses. They refused to provide explanations or answer questions. Both have not yet been punished by a court. They are now facing up to five years in prison.

The fire broke out in the hospice in Chojnicetvn24

Fire investigation discontinued

In turn, the investigation into causing a fire in the hospice was discontinued due to the death of the perpetrator who died on the spot.

It was the hospice staff that alerted the services about the fire. First there was a police patrol. Hordes of firefighters arrived four minutes after the notification. In total, 14 teams were active in the firefighting and rescue operation. The then commander of the Pomeranian State Fire Brigade. Tomasz Komoszyński said at a press conference that there was no fire alarm system in the building, and the entrances to the hospice were closed and they had to be balanced in order to carry out a firefighting operation and be able to evacuate residents, none of whom were able to move on their own. After the fire, the mayor of Chojnice, Arseniusz Finster, announced a two-day mourning in the city.

Main photo source: tvn24



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