Fire in Poland kills 5 girls locked in ‘escape room’
WARSAW, Poland — A faulty heating system appeared to have caused a fire at a house in northern Poland where five teenage girls died while locked inside a recreational ‘‘escape room’’ that was installed in the rented dwelling, investigators said Saturday.
Firefighters in the city of Koszalin found the bodies of the 15-year-old victims Friday after they extinguished a fire in a room adjacent to the one the girls had entered while celebrating a birthday.
Autopsies showed the girls died of carbon monoxide asphyxiation, prosecutors said.
Players in escape room games are locked inside a room or building and must solve puzzles and find clues that lead them to the key that will unlock the door. Regarded as an intellectual challenge, the games are highly popular among teenagers in Poland.
Koszalin prosecutor Ryszard Gasiorowski said a leak in a bottled gas heating system was a probable cause of the fire.
The fire broke out in a part of the detached house that was being used as a reception room for the entertainment venue and blocked an employee’s way to the girls, he said.
Poland’s interior minister has ordered fire safety inspections at more than 1,000 escape room locations across the country. The first inspections were being held Saturday, the Interior Ministry said. Previously, there was no official requirement for fire safety certificates at such locations.
Investigators examine the site of a fatal fire at an ‘‘escape room’’ in Koszalin, Poland.