Fire in southern Germany kills 3 people in a psychiatric nursing home, potentially set by resident

Police on Wednesday said a fire that killed three people in a psychiatric nursing home in southern Germany late Tuesday could have been set intentionally by one of the home’s residents.

The fire, which broke out on the second floor of the home in Reutlingen, killed a 53-year-old woman and two men aged 73 and 88. They died from smoke inhalation, according to initial findings by rescue workers, dpa reported. One person was seriously injured and 11 suffered more minor injuries.

Police said the 57-year-old woman who was seriously injured is being investigated on suspicion of three counts of murder and 11 of attempted murder.

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According to the ongoing investigations, the fire broke out Tuesday evening in the woman’s room on the upper floor of the building.

Police tape has been placed around parts of the building, after a fire in a psychiatric care facility in Reutlingen, on Jan. 18, 2023. Three of the residents who were in the home during the fire died.
(Christoph Schmidt/dpa via AP)

“Subsequently, the urgent suspicion arose that the woman may have set the fire,” Reutlingen police and the prosecutor’s office in nearby Tuebingen said in a joint statement.

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Investigators are looking into a possible motive of the woman, who has a mental illness, the statement said. The suspect is currently unresponsive and is being treated in a special clinic.