A fire in the Armazi hotel in Kobuleti, a seaside resort in western Georgia, claimed the lives of three boys, who were staying in the hotel together with their friends from the folk ensemble Sikharuli 2. 31 out of 48 individuals saved from fire by police offices and rescue team were children from the same ensemble.
Three boys die in fire in Hotel Armazi
By Messenger Staff
Monday, May 11
The children were staying in hotel together with their teachers and several parents. The ensemble is from Rustavi. The victims were 10-11 years old.
According Kobuleti governor Sulkhan Evgenidze, the fire broke out in the hotel early in the morning on May 10 when the children were still sleeping.
Mayor of Rustavi Davit Kajaia, City Council Chairman Davit Maghlakelidze and Deputy Mayor Lasha Lobjanidze immediately left for Kobuleti as soon as they heard the news.
“A terrible tragedy happened in Kobuleti today. I express my sympathy to the families of the victims. We will do our best to help the rescued children to get back to their homes as soon as possible,” Jikia said.
The owner of the Armazi hotel said he cannot recall any particular reason that could have caused the fire. He said that when people tried to open the room where the victims slept, they found the door was locked.
“They (teachers and parents) were drinking downstairs. They should have taken care of their children. It was not my responsibility. They should not have locked them in. I do not know who locked the door. Either the teacher or one of the parents must have done it,” Armazi owner said, who reportedly has suffered material losses worth around 2 million GEL.
Reportedly the fire broke due to an air conditioner malfunction, which was installed in the rooms where the three boys were sleeping.
The President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Irakli Ghariabshvili expressed their shock and sadness over the tragedy and offered their condolences to the families of the victims.