A police spokesperson said the cause of a fire in the German town of Gudensberg on Monday which destroyed a building housing refugees and injured up to 40 people will be investigated. Rxperts from the State Office of Criminal Investigation (LKA) and the Agency for Technical Relief (THW) will carry out the investigation together starting from Tuesday.
Over 100 firemen and 40 emergency medical service personnel were deployed to stop the fire in the building where 48 Polish and Bulgarian refugees were registered.
Local media reported that 40 people were injured in fire that completely destroyed the building. Yet, police could not confirm this number. The injured residents, including five seriously injured refugees, were taken to hospital.
The fire came after a series of violent attacks on refugee shelters in different parts of the country. However, a police spokesperson said on Monday that they “have no knowledge” regarding whether arson was the cause.
As of September 2015, more than 490 attacks have been carried out against refugee shelters, German officials said. The number is more than two times greater than the number of attacks on refugee shelters in 2014.
On Monday, shortly before the fire in the Gudensberg refugee house, a planned refugee shelter was attacked in the city of Frauenwald in the eastern part of Germany. Anti-refugee attacks destroyed 17 flats in the building that the local administration had rented for refugees. No arrests have been made in relation to the attack.
Germany expects to receive an estimated 800,000 refugees in 2015, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea.