UK Fire Safety News

Fourteen people die in Workshop for Disabled

Fourteen people have been killed and eight injured in a major fire at a workshop for disabled people in south-western Germany.

The blaze occurred at the centre run by the Caritas charity in the Black Forest town of Titisee-Neustadt, some 40km (25 miles) east of Freiburg. About 50 people were believed to be in the building when the fire started. The cause is unclear, but local media reports that there may have been an explosion in a store room.

The centre is reportedly used for woodwork and metalwork, but it is not known whether there were any flammable materials on site. The blaze occurred at about 14:00 local time (13:00 GMT), and flames were first spotted on the roof of the modern three-storey building. More than 100 firefighters backed by helicopters tackled the blaze - some, wearing breathing apparatus, braved the thick smoke to rescue a number of people trapped inside. But police confirmed that not every one made it out.

House Boat Fire in Oxfordshire

The remains of a man were found last week on the boat, moored in Wolvercote, following a fire on board on 16 November.

Police are continuing attempts to formally identify human bones discovered in a burned out houseboat on a canal in Oxfordshire. A post-mortem test on Friday failed to identify the person.

Fire at Altnagelvin Hospital in County Londonderry

Several wards at Altnagelvin Hospital in County Londonderry have been evacuated due to a fire at the top of the 11-storey building. Almost 50 firefighters and 11 fire appliances are at the scene. The police are also in attendance. The Western Health Trust has reassured the public that "there are no injuries and the incident is under control". It has advised visitors not to come to Altnagelvin until further notice.

The entrances to the hospital have been closed to all non-emergency personnel.

The Mayor of Derry, Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has paid tribute to "all the emergency services who worked together to ensure the safety of staff and patients at the hospital".

Cooking Oil Depot Fire in Essex

Crews have been tackling a large fire involving 30,000 litres of cooking oil at a storage depot in Essex.

The fire in Little Warley near Brentwood was reported at 05:15 GMT on Tuesday after neighbours heard a "massive bang". Utility and Environment Agency officials were called in and neighbouring properties evacuated. The fire involved cooking oil, tonnes of paper and 3,000 litres of diesel. It was brought under control by midday. Officers found the cooking oil on fire in a number of different containers at the one acre site, a spokesman said.

Crews, who were brought in from across London and Essex, used foam and water jets to bring the fire under control.

Woman charged with murder after Birmingham fire

A 38-year-old woman has appeared in court charged with murder and attempted murder after a fatal house fire. Nusarat Bugum, 36, died in a suspected arson attack in Speedwell Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 5 November. A man, 34, and two women, aged 55 and 23, are in a stable condition in hospital, police said.

Nussrat Khatoon, of Heathfield Road, Kings Heath, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Sunday and is due at the city's crown court on Tuesday. She faces one charge of murder and three counts of attempted murder. A 30-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man arrested in relation to the fire remain on police bail. Miss Bugum was rescued from the fire but died in hospital, police said.

The West Midlands force said the three other people hurt in the blaze sustained serious injuries.

Surrey Mayford Village Fire

A fire which damaged a village hall in Surrey is being treated as suspicious, police have said. Surrey Fire and Rescue was called to Mayford Village Hall in Saunders Lane, Woking, at about 04:30 GMT on Sunday.

Surrey Police said most of the roof of the wooden building, which is used by community groups, was destroyed. Det Con Nick Swindals said: "This was a large fire which appears to have been deliberately started and has caused considerable damage".