Man dies in fire in Thessaloniki apartment block

An elderly man died in fire that broke out in a six-storey apartment building in the center of Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, early on Thursday morning.

The fire brigade dispatched 30 firefighters who arrived at the scene quickly enough to evacuate the 25 residents safely from their balconies. Some of the residents had climbed onto the roof of the block to escape the flames and thickening toxic fumes.

It took the firemen nearly two hours to extinguish the blaze which destroyed several apartments and wreaked serious damage to several more.

The victim, an 80-year-old man who has not been identified, was found dead on the staircase connecting the basement and the ground-floor. An autopsy Thursday showed the man died of smoke inhalation.

It is not yet known what caused the blaze which appears to have broken out in the back yard of the block and spread into the block itself.

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