Nine Syrians, eight of them children between the ages of one and 11, have died in a fire that broke out on the second floor of a four-story building in the western Turkish province of Bursa, the Demirören News Agency (DHA) reported on Wednesday.
According to DHA, the victims were 31-year-old mother Amina Eltaha Elmuse; her six children, Yasir (1), Muhammed (3), Ahmed (4), Gerem (6), Merem (9) and Ali Aljasem (10); and nephews Ahmed (10) and Ali El Cesim (11).
Amina’s husband, Husseın Aljasem, who was outside the house late on Tuesday when the fire broke out on the second floor of the building in the Yıldırım district, was overcome by smoke while trying to fight the fire and suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, DHA said, adding that he was taken to Kestel State Hospital for treatment.
Firefighters, police and emergency medical responders were sent to the scene after flames rising from the house were reported. The fire was brought under control within an hour, according to DHA.
Bursa Governor Yakup Canpolat, who spoke to the press in the early hours of Wednesday, said the fire was likely caused by a stove in the Syrian family’s house, according to the preliminary findings of the fire department.
“If they were adults, maybe they would have smelled [the smoke] and escaped. But children between the ages of 1 and 11 couldn’t even move, probably because it was bedtime,” Bursa Mayor Alinur Aktaş also told the reporters, wishing peace for their souls.
According to Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) data, there were a total of 3,603,724 Syrian immigrants in Turkey who have been granted temporary protection status as of Nov. 3, with 185,309 living in Bursa.
Syria’s civil war, which began with a brutal crackdown of anti-government protests in 2011, has killed nearly half a million people and forced around half of the country’s pre-war population from their homes.