Fire kills 14 at workshop for disabled in Germany

Firefighters stand in front of house with a workshop for handicapped people in Titisee- Neustadt on November 26, 2012.

Story highlights

  • President of German Caritas mourns victims of fire
  • Workers and a counselor killed, several hurt in blaze in southwestern Germany
  • An explosion in a storage room may have started the fire, police say

Fire raged through a workshop for the disabled in southwestern Germany on Monday, killing 14 people, police said.

The victims were identified as workers and a counselor at the Caritas workshop in the town of Titisee-Neustadt, said Karl-Heinz Schmid, a Freiburg police spokesman.

Several other people were hurt, he said.

Another member of the Freiburg police said an explosion in a storage room may have caused the fire that prompted a major response from firefighting crews.

Dr. Peter Neher, president of the German Caritas Association, extended sympathies to the victims' families.

"We know that the responsible colleagues on site will do everything to find out the causes of this horrible event," he said in a statement.

Caritas International is a "global confederation of 165 Catholic organizations working in humanitarian emergencies and international development," according to its website.