3 die in Athens warehouse fire

Two immigrant workers were burnt to death in a blaze on Saturday afternoon in an old Athens timber warehouse that was being transformed into a nightclub, while a third died of his burns shortly after being taken to hospital. Over 50 people, mostly workers but also singers and other performers taking part in rehearsals, were in the building at 178 Pireos Street, in the southwestern district of Tavros, when the fire broke out around 3.30 p.m. All managed to evacuate the burning warehouse safely. The blaze started at the back of the building, where the victims – two Ukrainians and a Pole whose names were not released – were engaged in welding work. As a fire brigade force of 42 men backed by 14 fire engines fought the flames, a second blaze broke out at the front of the building, dangerously close to a petrol station. The fire was eventually contained to the warehouse, which was gutted, while a large stretch of Pireos Street was closed off to traffic for nearly three hours. Arson has been ruled out. The nightclub was to open on Thursday.