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Investigation of the fire in Vuosaari on 9 December 2016

Published 12.12.2016
The Safety Investigation Authority (SIA) began immediately to investigate the apartment fire which occurred in the early hours of 9 December 2016, leading to the death of three under-age children and an adult in Vuotie street in the area of Vuosaari, Helsinki. SIA established an investigation team and collected additional information on the fire over the weekend.

The fire will be investigated under the Safety Investigation Act (525/2011) due to its serious consequences: the death of three minors and one adult. The previous fire as serious as this occurred in a detached house in Naantali, Finland, in 2009, leading to the death of five young persons. A fire in a terraced house in Raahe on 13 September 2016, which killed two children, is also currently under investigation.

The safety investigation will examine the causes and consequences of the fire, the course of events, the search and rescue actions, and the actions taken by the authorities. Particular attention will be paid to the ability of the family to safely operate standard sauna equipment, and why the family was unable to evacuate the apartment. The sauna facilities and the sauna oven are under investigation as one of the possible causes of the fire.

Fire Inspector Knut Lehtinen has been appointed as the Head of the Investigation Team, and Master of Theology Jukka Seppänen and retired Executive Fire Officer Reijo Salminen as members. Chief Safety Investigator Kai Valonen of the Safety Investigation Authority will serve as the Investigator-in-Charge. The aim is to complete the investigation in six months.

The Safety Investigation Authority conducts safety investigations in order to promote general safety, prevent further accidents and incidents from occurring and to minimise losses.

Safety investigations are not conducted to allocate legal liability.

Further information:
Veli-Pekka Nurmi, Executive Director, tel. +358 (0)295 150 701 (Twitter: @VPNurmi)
Kai Valonen, Chief Safety Investigator, tel. +358 (0)2915 150 707 (Twitter: @KaiValonen)
Sakari Lauriala, Head of Communications, tel. +358 (0)295 150 714 (Twitter: @SakariLauriala)

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