3 hurt, 39 apartments destroyed in German residential complex blaze

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At least three persons were injured after massive fire gutted 39 apartments at a residential complex in the western German city of Essen, local authorities said.

The situation had already “developed dramatically” by the time the first firefighters arrived, the city’s fire department said in a statementon Monday.

Post-extinguishing work was still underway, while police were investigating the causes of the fire, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the fire department, gale-force winds might have caused the fire to “spread furiously across the wind-blown facade and balconies”.

The heat caused shutters to melt and windows to burst even in other buildings up to 15 metres away.

A firefighter told public broadcaster WDR he was used to extinguishing fires in individual apartments, “but when you’re standing here and there’s a block of 50 apartments on fire, that’s a scale you can’t imagine”.

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