A two-year-old girl has burnt to death after her Christmas tree caught fire, and investigators believe that an electrical short circuit may be to blame.
Ginevra Gioia Manganello, 2, died at her family home in the historic centre of the town of Palma di Montechiaro, which is located in the province of Agrigento, on the island of Sicily, in southern Italy, on the evening of 21st December.
The young girl was sleeping in a bed on the top floor when the fire broke out, while her mother and her aunt were on the ground floor. As soon as they realised what was happening, they immediately tried to reach her to save her, but they were reportedly stopped by tall flames.
By the time firefighters had managed to tackle the flames and smoke, there was nothing that could be done to save the young girl.
Harrowing scenes reportedly unfolded in front of the building, with family members and friends trying to support the child’s distraught mother, who has not been named.
Ginevra leaves behind her two parents and five siblings after she was left charred by the fire that devoured the apartment in which she lived with her family.
It is currently believed that the fire started as a result of an electrical short circuit in the Christmas tree and spread to the rest of the apartment in the three-storey building.
Firefighters and police are attempting to determine if the fire was indeed caused by the Christmas tree or if it was instead caused by a malfunctioning stove.
The Agrigento public prosecutor’s office, led by Luigi Patronaggio, has opened an investigation into the fire, which will be handled by prosecutor Maria Barbara Cifalino.
The mayor of Palma di Montechiaro, Stefano Castellino, is quoted in local media as saying: “It is a terrible moment: we have just had the events in Ravanusa, and now we are here mourning a new victim.”
Investigations into the incident are currently ongoing.
Last week, nine people died after a building collapsed in the town of Ravanusa, also in the province of Agrigento.