Several injured in fire at Sweden's largest asylum centre

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected]
Several injured in fire at Sweden's largest asylum centre
File photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Panic ensued and a number of people were injured after a suspected arson attack on Restad gård in Vänersborg, the largest asylum centre in Sweden.


One man was seriously injured after escaping the fire by jumping from the third floor.
Emergency services were called at around 4:15 am to a fire in a common room on the third floor of the residential facility run by the Swedish migration authority (Migrationsverket). There was a large amount of smoke by the time firefighters arrived on the scene.
A dozen people inhaled smoke, of which most were given oxygen on the spot. Three were taken to Norra Älvsborg Hospital in Trolhätten.
"One person is seriously injured due to trauma from jumping [from height]. The other two have smoke-related injuries," communications director Niklas Claesson of Norra Älvsborg Hospital told news agency TT.
A second person also jumped from a window of the building, according to emergency services.
Palestinian James Abedrabbo, who lives on the third floor of the centre, said he was woken by a fire alarm and was frightened to realise that the fire was no a false alarm.
"It was strange and scary. When I opened the door to my room I saw a lot of smoke and we were immediately evacuated," Abedrabbo told P4 Väst.
The fire is being treated as a suspected arson. Police are suspected to begin a technical examination of what caused the fire once the third floor is accessible on Monday.
Resta gård is the largest asylum accommodation in Sweden, according to Caroline Arvaker, security coordinator with Vänersborg Municipality.
158 people live in the building. Those residing on the first and second floors will be able to return to their rooms on Sunday, while around 50 people living on the third floor will be transferred to alternative accommodation nearby.
The residents were taken immediately after the fire to a nearby sports centre and a hotel in the area provided breakfast. Swedish charity POSOM, the Red Cross and other organisations were all involved in providing relief.
"Everything went very smoothly," Jonathan Kvist, unit director with Migrationsverket, told TT.


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