Story updated on 4 January.
GENEVA – Two elderly women have died after severe burns received in two separate fires that erupted in Geneva within a matter of hours.
Authorities said the first fire occurred at 36 Quai Ernest-Ansermet by the Jonction, while a second blaze occurred hours later by the Servette. More than 100 people had to be evacuated, with many residents having to be rescued through high-reaching fire truck ladders (see also photo featured by Ulises Valecillo).
In the first fire, which broke out around 15:30 on 1 January at Quai Ernest-Ansermet, 34 residents had to be treated for smoke inhalation, including 16 that had to be taken to local and/or regional hospitals for further treatment. Police said an 83-year-old woman critically burnt and taken to CHUV Lausanne, died on 3 January.
Some reports indicate several children were also transported to hospital. Medical personnel from as far as Vevey assisted Geneva authorities.
1er janvier 2017, forces de l’ordre et secours sont sur le pont et travaillent main dans la main pour lutter contre un violent incendie d’appartement. Agents en uniforme et police judiciaire prêtent main forte aux pompiers du SIS. #policegeneve #incendie #pompiers #firefighters #police #geneve #suisse
On 1 January, only six hours after the first blaze, firefighters and medical emergency personnel were called back after a second fire at rue Louis Favre 19 broke out. Around 30 people had to be evacuated, five were treated for smoke inhalation.
Fire crews had to battle flames to rescue an elderly woman in her 80s who died at the scene.
Over 50 professional and volunteer firefighters, medical crews and other personnel from canton Geneva and Vaud, participated in the two rescue and containment operations.