Blaze levels American home in Kitzingen
January 23, 2004
A stubborn fire destroyed the off-base apartment of an American civilian and his family in downtown Kitzingen, Germany, on Wednesday evening, according to Army officials.
The German newspaper Main Post reported the fire started about 5:30 p.m. above a bakery in Oberkirchgasse, a narrow street near the city’s famous Old Synagogue. About 130 firefighters took two hours to put out the fire.
Subfreezing temperatures hampered the efforts of firefighters to put out the blaze because other buildings stood so close. The newspaper said several nearby apartments and roofs were damaged. Firefighters stayed on the scene until after midnight.
Gabi Drake, a spokeswoman for the Kitzingen-based 417th Base Support Battalion, said she did not know the name of the family or how many people lived in the apartment. But she said it included the civilian, who worked at one of the bases in the Würzburg-Kitzingen area, his wife, and at least one child, whom the newspaper said was treated at a local hospital for minor burns on her hands.
German fire inspectors employed by the Army are investigating the fire. Drake said military police helped move the family members into a hotel, and the 417th BSB housing office is helping them find new living quarters.