Homeless couple spark deadly blaze to stay warm

The Local Austria
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Homeless couple spark deadly blaze to stay warm
Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia

To stave off the cold, a homeless couple in Vienna's district of Favoriten made an open-air fire under a bridge late Monday evening. Unfortunately, their efforts resulted in major harm to the man and fatal injuries for the woman.


Police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger stated that, "it's confirmed that directly before the fire, the two victims bought one and a half litres of petrol at a nearby gas station and poured it into an ice-tea bottle."
While igniting the fire in the dark, it seems that the pair did not notice where exactly they had dispersed the gasoline. Once the flames started, they spread extremely quickly - the surrounding trees, brushwood, and even onto the woman's clothing. According to passersby the man for help ran to the nearest apartment block, where emergency services were alerted almost immediately. Yet, the fire brigade and ambulance arrived too late to save the woman, who died at the scene. The man was rushed to the hospital where his burns are currently being treated. 
According to a report from Kurier, police have been fighting tirelessly this winter against deaths of all manner caused by the immense cold. In the past days alone, dozens around Europe have died at the hands of subzero temperatures, and more are anticipated in the coming days as meteorologists predict the cold to remain.
If you are in Vienna and notice a homeless person sleeping outside, you can contact Caritas to bring them sleeping bags or to transport them to an emergency shelter: 01/4804553 


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