Four children including a 3-month baby have died after a fire broke out in in their home in the southwestern city of Timisoara. The children’s parents were not at home at the time, media reported.
A 14-year-old boy, the oldest of the five siblings, managed to escape and raised the alarm. Neighbors told reporters that the mother often left the children _ aged between three months and 14_ without adult supervision to go gambling halls, Press Alert reported.
Police said they are investigating the parents on suspicion of manslaughter. Their eldest son has been taken into state care.
The Timis Emergency Services said firefighters were called to to a house, divided into two apartments, late Wednesday to fight a blaze where nine people lived, including five children. The youngsters died when a ceiling collapsed on them.
Authorities said five people needed medical treatment, including the 14-year-old, whose siblings died. The children’s mother arrived home later and received medical treatment.
A neighbor who spoke to reporters in Timisoara said she had filed a complaint to police and child welfare authorities because the children were often left alone while their mother went to gambling halls.
Rescue teams found the children’s bodies after the fire had been extinguished.
Authorities believe the fire ignited from a stove in the house.