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Foreign Ministry Says It Has Been Working on Solingen Fire Case, Which Killed Four Bulgarian Citizens, Ever Since News of Incident

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has been working on the case of a serious fire in the German town of Solingen on March 25, 2024, which killed four Bulgarian citizens and injured three others, since the initial information about the incident was received, the Ministry said on Saturday in a press release in connection with media and social media posts about the fire.
The Consulate General of Bulgaria in Frankfurt, the Embassy of Bulgaria in Berlin, and the Honorary Consul of Bulgaria in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Werner Jostmeier, have been in constant contact with the local authorities since the first days after the tragic event in order to clarify the identity of the victims and the circumstances that led to their death. The issue of the need for a swift investigation into the causes of the fire was also raised by Bulgaria’s Ambassador to Berlin Grigor Porozhanov during a bilateral meeting at the German Federal Ministry of the Interior. The readiness to cooperate in the field of police cooperation was also expressed, the Foreign Ministry said.
Following an official inquiry from the Consulate General of Bulgaria in Frankfurt to the competent local authorities, information was received from the Mayor’s Office of Solingen on March 27, 2024, stating that the prosecution was investigating a serious fire in which four citizens had died, probably as a result of deliberate arson. Due to the increased public interest, the investigating prosecutor in the case, Heribert Kaune-Gebhardt, announced publicly on the same day that at this stage there was no evidence that the crime was motivated by xenophobic motives.
The Bulgarian diplomatic mission in Berlin was officially informed of the identity of the victims on April 4, 2024, when the death certificates issued by the local authorities were received. The Bulgarian citizens who died were four, including two minor children. With the help of the criminal police of Solingen, the other Bulgarian citizens injured in the fire – a young family with one child – have been identified, and Bulgaria’s diplomatic mission is in constant contact with the hospital where they are being treated, the Foreign Ministry said.
The three injured citizens should be allowed to be visited by the Bulgarian consul next week in order to receive the necessary assistance and support. So far no request for assistance has been received from the relatives of the deceased or the injured Bulgarian citizens to the Bulgarian diplomatic missions in Germany, the Foreign Ministry added.
Intentional arson was the cause of the fire that killed four Bulgarian citizens of Turkish origin from one family in the town of Solingen, Germany, Turkish TV channel CNN-Türk reported on March 27. According to the DPA, the fire occurred in the stairwell of the old building. The fire spread to the roof within five minutes due to the so-called “chimney effect”. There were “clear traces of flammable liquid” on the staircase. Based on this finding, it was concluded that the fire was the result of “deliberate arson”.