15 children killed in Haiti orphanage fire

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 15 2020 02:02 AM

KENSCOFF, Haiti - A fire swept through an unlicensed orphanage outside Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, killing 15 children, a local judge told AFP on Friday.

The building -- which had not been authorized to operate as an orphanage since 2013 -- housed about 66 children, said Raymonde Jean Antoine.

The fire in Kenscoff -- a town of 50,000 south of the capital -- began shortly after 9:00 pm Thursday (0200 GMT Friday), she said. 

Two children died in the blaze and 13 others died at a local hospital as a result of smoke inhalation, the judge added.

The cause of the fire and the victims' ages were not immediately known.

The two-story building was in a state of complete disrepair, with bunk beds -- some in deplorable condition -- crammed into small rooms, a cramped staircase and only one usable exit door, an AFP reporter saw.