Swiss asylum shelter destroyed by fire overnight

Swiss asylum shelter destroyed by fire overnight
Refugees are escorted by a Swiss police officer (L, in blue) upon their arrival in the country.
PHOTO: Reuters

ZURICH - A Swiss asylum shelter was destroyed by a fire overnight on Sunday, leaving its 24 residents uninjured but dislodged from their temporary home.

More than 70 fire fighters fought the blaze that broke out shortly after midnight at the Kaltbrunn, St. Gallen, home, before bringing the fire under control after two hours.

The 14 residents present at the time were able to leave the burning house unhurt. They were temporarily lodged in the municipality's civil defence facility, located in the town school, and it is now up to the municipality to determine where they will stay, police said.

The police's forensic services are investigating the matter, a spokesman for the cantonal police said, but the cause of the fire remains unknown. Neither arson or most other possible causes could be ruled out, he said, adding it was not yet known where in the house the fire started.

The municipality could not immediately be reached for comment.

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