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French holiday home where 11 died broke safety rules - prosecutor

A holiday home in north-eastern France where 11 people died in a fire did not meet safety standards, an official has said.

The blaze broke out early on Wednesday at a house in La Forge, where people with learning disabilities were hosted.

Prosecutor Nathalie Kielwasser said the building was not properly inspected and had the wrong type of smoke alarm.

The owner of the property, who lives opposite the holiday home, is in shock and has not been detained, she added.

The lodging had not undergone the "obligatory" safety inspection and "did not have the characteristics needed to host the public", Ms Kielwasser, the deputy prosecutor for the city of Colmar, told AFP news agency.

The building, an old structure recently renovated, had smoke detectors "but not sufficient for this type of property", she said.

Ms Kielwasser said it was not yet clear whether there were fire extinguishers in the building. The cause of the fire is not known and investigations are continuing, she added.

The building was being used by two groups of adults from two separate charities helping people with disabilities, the local government for the Haut-Rhin region said.

Nearly 80 firefighters were sent to the blaze after emergency services were alerted at 06:30 local time (04:30 GMT) on Wednesday.


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