There were new developments on Sunday afternoon regarding the fire on Wehrbrücklstrasse in Vienna-Donaustadt, in which a 57-year-old man was seriously injured on Saturday evening. The fire was apparently set, as the state police headquarters announced. The suspect is the seriously injured man’s partner, a 53-year-old woman. She is said to have set a blanket on fire and left the apartment after failing to put out the fire.
Police spokesman Markus Dittrich announced that there were indications of possible mental illness in the woman. She may also have been drunk at the time of the crime. In a short initial interview, the 53-year-old admitted that she had set the blanket on fire. She couldn’t name a motive. “She said she didn’t know why she did it,” Dittrich said. Dittrich said the 53-year-old was transferred to a psychiatric ward after consultation with the journalist from the Vienna public prosecutor’s office and reported for negligently causing a fire.
Victim in artificial deep sleep
Her partner, who was rescued from the ground floor apartment by the Vienna fire department “at the last moment” – according to fire department spokesman Christian Feiler – is now in a hospital in artificial deep sleep. He had suffered burns and a smoke inhalation injury. Six other residents – including three children – had to be treated in a hospital but were not seriously injured. The fire department fought the fire with eight vehicles and 39 emergency services.
The fire broke out shortly after 9 p.m. When the alerted fire brigade arrived, flames were shooting out of a window. “The flames have already spread to the outer facade. But we were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the apartments above,” said Chief Fire Officer Feiler. The fire brigade spokesman reported that the staircase was heavily smoked due to the apartment door being left open in the affected apartment (“It was a classic open room fire”). There was still a male person in the apartment at the time: “Two extinguishing lines were laid and the colleagues entered the apartment using respiratory protection via the entrance door and a patio door and began fighting the fire and searching for people.” The tenant of the apartment was found lying on the floor. The man was rescued and taken outside. The man’s partner, who is now considered a suspect, was able to escape independently.
The professional rescue team was on hand with a special operations group with 16 rescue teams and provided emergency medical care. Some residents had left the building on their own, others were brought out of their apartments by the fire department using breathing apparatus due to the heavy smoke. The stairwell was then cleared of smoke using a high-performance fan. The operation was over at 11:15 p.m.
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