A hotel in Kirchberg (Kitzbühel district) caught fire on Saturday night. 27 guests were rescued from balconies using ladders. Seven guests were hospitalized and two firefighters suffered burns.
“Guests are screaming on all the balconies – they have no chance to escape via the stairs,” Christoph Schipplinger, fire brigade commander and operations manager of the Kirchberg volunteer fire department, described the large-scale operation to ORF Tirol. All 27 guests at the hotel were rescued via a balcony using a turntable ladder or an extension ladder. At the same time, the fire department was working to douse the fire through the main entrance gate.
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“It's a matter of life and death”
Six guests had to be taken to St. Johann District Hospital for suspected smoke inhalation, and one guest walked there independently. Two firefighters from the Kirchberg Volunteer Fire Department suffered burns. Four employees and 21 guests were not injured.
“Some were only wearing T-shirts and not even shoes. So they literally escaped. It was a matter of life and death,” said the fire chief. They were treated at the Kirchberg fire station and later admitted to an emergency hospital.
Damage to equipment
140 firemen and 22 vehicles were deployed. Some emergency helmets were broken and protective clothing had fist-sized holes, the fire chief said. The damage to the hotel is extensive and the extent of the damage is not yet known, police said. The cause of the fire in the entrance area is currently under investigation.