A house fire in northwestern Turkey has killed nine Syrian refugees, including eight children.
The blaze broke out late on Tuesday in the first-floor apartment of a four-story building in the city of Bursa.
The victims were six siblings aged between 1 and 10, their 31-year-old mother, and two cousins aged 10 and 11.
Their father, who was returning home when the fire broke out, tried to rescue his family members but was affected by the smoke and hospitalised, according to Bursa governor, Yakup Canbolat.
Three other neighbours were also treated in hospital for smoke inhalation.
“Our fire extinguishing teams immediately rushed to the area and tried to put out the fire, but unfortunately, after the fire was extinguished, the scene inside was saddening,” Canbolat said.
“We were deeply saddened. It’s a huge heartbreak. It’s impossible to describe,” he added.
A preliminary inspection of the scene indicates that the fire was caused by a wood-burning stove.
The city’s mayor, Alinur Aktas, said that the family had lived as refugees in Turkey since 2017 and had only moved to the apartment two months ago.
At least 3.7 million Syrian refugees officially live in Turkey.