14 Apr 2009

Fatal fire at Polish hostel

5:01 am on 14 April 2009

A fire in a hostel in northwest Poland has killed 21 people.

Another 21 people have been hospitalised.

Some 77 people were staying in a three-storey building in Kamieniec Pomorski, which burned to the ground at around 1am on Monday.

President Lech Kaczynski has declared a period of national mourning beginning at midnight.

A shelter resident told TVN24 that the blaze may have been caused by someone who fell asleep with a lit cigarette.

The building was constructed in the 1970s as a workers' hostel.