A Turkish woman (23) and her two daughters (5 and 2) were killed on Sunday morning in an apartment building fire in the western German city of Wuppertal, police said.
Police said it seemed the fire, which started in the attic of the apartment block, was an accident and there was no indication of arson. The home was already in flames when firefighters, called by a neighbor, arrived and rescued three residents. Police said Hatice Gür and her daughters Elif and Esra could not be rescued, although the fire brigade arrived at the scene promptly, the Anatolia news agency reported.
The father, Eyüp Gür (30), escaped from the burning apartment with severe burns and was taken to the hospital.
Turkey's consul-general in Dusseldorf, Fırat Sunel, and the mayor of Wuppertal, Peter Jung, visited the scene of the fire later on Sunday. Sunel also told Anatolia that there was no indication of arson. However, the cause of the fire would become clear only after an investigation is finished, he added. The bodies, which were taken to Wuppertal's department of forensic medicine, will be sent to the victims' hometown in the central Anatolian province of Kütahya within days, Anatolia noted.
In February 2008, a blaze in the southwestern German city of Ludwigshafen killed nine Turks, all from the same family. In July 2008, German investigators announced that they concluded a probe into the fire in Ludwigshafen, saying that the months-long investigation had failed to uncover what caused the blaze. Despite initial fears that the blaze could have been a far-right arson attack, investigators found no evidence of arson, prosecutors said at the time.