GENEVA, Switzerland — A 76-year-old woman and her 45-year-old daughter have died after a fire broke out at their roof top apartment in Grand-Saconnex on the morning of Saturday 3 June. The husband/father of the victims was not home at the time.
For privacy reasons in Switzerland, the victims names cannot be revealed but All About Geneva has been contacted by members of the Latin American community in Geneva, where the surviving member of the family is well known, indicating their identities. Grieving friends are leaving touching messages on Facebook remembering the victims.
The Geneva Fire Department said the blaze began shortly before 10:30 Saturday at a 10-story building on Chemin de Tavervey.
Some of the neighbors said to the Tribune de Genève that the fire spread so rapidly that they were unaware they were in danger. Some of them said they were alerted by neighbors across the street of the danger looming above their heads.
Area residents captured the dramatic scenes on video.
Witnesses said firefighters arrived within minutes of being called. Flames could be seen coming out of windows at the top floor.
It is an unknown what caused the fire or why the victims were trapped inside the apartment instead of escaping the fire outside in the terrace.
Ten SIS vehicles and more than 20 firefighters and medical personnel were in the scene. No other injuries were reported.
The two women were related to a well-known figure in Geneva. The surviving member of the family is a Graduate Institute former professor and envoy of the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is well known in Geneva for promoting Latin American culture in the city, and internationally, for helping secure the release of a Swiss hostage in South America.
As members of the community, we express our sincerest condolences to him and his family.