Otkes starts investigation into Jyväskylä senior home fire 

The investigation is expected to last up to nine months, and investigators will examine not only the cause of the fire but also the rescue efforts which saved almost 200 people.

File picture of fire at Jyväskylä senior home, 10th July 2020 / Credit: Tilannehuone

The Accident Investigation Board Otkes is starting an investigation today into a fire at a seniors home in Jyväskylä which saw 168 elderly people evacuated over the weekend.

The first broke out initially on Friday night, and then after emergency crews had contained the blaze for the first time, it broke out again overnight between Friday and Saturday morning.

Although a preliminary investigation was carried out at the weekend, Otkes says they will now launch a formal inquiry into the fire which started in a building constructed in 2018.

“The important thing here is we are trying to find the answer how the fire spread from one building to another which is not very common” says Otkes Director Professor Veli-Pekka Nurmi, explaining that the fire spread from one part of the senior care home through a connecting area, to another part of the home in a different building.

“We are trying to find the answer why this happened, and there we are concentrating pretty much on the construction, these construction issues are very important, and those building were connected in some way to each other, but that connection it’s not supposed to help spread the fire” he tells News Now Finland.

The investigation is expected to last between seven and nine months, and Otkes will be looking not just at the cause of the fire but the rescue efforts – which went well, with nobody killed or injured in the fire.

“If you evacuate almost 200 people in the middle of the night, and elderly people, it is a very very difficult task. Nobody died. It’s a very good ending to everything” says Professor Nurmi.

The residents of the senior home were put in temporary accommodation with relatives, in hotels, or in other care homes.