Fifteen children killed in fire at illegal orphanage in Haiti

At least 15 children have died in a fire late Thursday night (Feb 13) at an orphanage that the authorities said was not authorised to operate.

Director-General of the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR), Arielle J Villedroin, confirmed the incident that occurred at the Orphanage of the “Comprehension of the Bible” Church in Fermathe 55, on the outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince.

Villedroin described the incident as a “terrible tragedy” and confirmed that this orphanage had no authorisation to operate. Authorities here said that out of the 754 orphanages operating throughout the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country, only 35 are authorised to function.

Raymonde Antoine Jean—Justice of Peace of Kenscoff—the area where the blaze occurred, said that based on initial information, the fire was accidental. One eyewitness said the orphanage had been using candles for light due to problems with its generator and inverter.

Media reports quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the bodies of at least 13 children were carried out of the orphanage