Tragedy in Athens: Fire in apartment without central heating kills man, 87, injures wife

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It was a matter of time in Greece of bitter cold, economic crisis and apartments without central heating. A tragedy occurred in central Athens on Wednesday morning: a 87-year-old man was burned alive, his 67-year-old wife survived with heavy injuries and poisoning from the smoke inhalation.

The fire broke out around 3 o’ clock in the morning, while the couple was sleeping in an apartment at the third floor of a multi-store building in Ampelokipoi district.

It was the neighbors who smell the smoke and intervened. First calling the fire brigades, then trying to rescue the elderly couple.

KTG understands that the neighbors broke into apartment and pulled the woman out.

They found the man dead in his bed.

The Fire Brigades managed to extinguish the fire before spreading to the building.

Neighbors said that the couple was heating the apartment with a small device, media report.

The wife is being hospitalized with burn injuries and respiratory problems.

The Fire Brigades investigate the cause of the fire.

It is not the first time that a heating device or a brazier takes the lives of people in times when especially residents of multi-store buildings cannot afford central heating whether heating oil or natural gas and seek alternative and certainly much cheaper ways.

One of my neighbors, he has been living without central heating (natural gas) for the fourth consecutive winter. He is 88 years old and low pensioner. With the price of natural gas at €1.30 per heating hour and the pension cuts he suffered in the last years, it soon became clear to him that he will have to come through the bitter cold winters without heating. He constantly wears a coat inside his apartment.

PS With all these cheap heating devices, heating mattresses and heating blankets circulating in Greece in the last couples of years of austerity, I wish the Greek Fire Department had massively published TV spots every winter until every man, woman and every child here learned how to use them with safety.