Three men were killed after a fire broke out at 10:30 pm on Sunday night in a popular gay sauna in the central Berlin district of Schöneberg, according to officials.
— David Michael Grund (@dav_gru) February 6, 2017
It is unclear how the fire erupted at the Steam Works club, located in the basement of a 10-storey building in the central Berlin district of Schöneberg, authorities said. Other parts of the building were not affected by the blaze, they added.
Firefighters had to cut through a steel gate in order to access the club, the Berlin-based “BZ” newspaper reported. A spokesman for emergency response services said some 50 firefighters combed through the small rooms of the 2,000-square-meter club.
Nearly 30 people were at the club at the time the fire broke out.
Customers of the establishment, many dressed in nothing but towels in the cold winter night, were provided shelter in a fire services van.
The sauna winds through rooms on the ground floor and in the cellar of a seven-floor building on Kurfürstenstraße in the Schöneberg district of Berlin.
The club, which consists of saunas, “play areas” and 60 or so single cabins, proved difficult for the fire service to search through.
“It was really hard work to break into every cabin and check if there was someone inside,” said the spokesperson.
A fourth man was hospitalized with smoke inhalation.