Four children from one family die after fire tears through Roma camp in Rom

Four children from one family have died in a fire in a squatters’ camp occupied by Roma .

Three brothers and a sister aged from four to 11 perished when the blaze ripped through their wood shack on Rome’s outskirts on Sunday night.

Their mother was out buying food and other adult family members were fetching water when the fire took hold.

Anguish: A Roma woman mourns after four children were killed by a fire that tore through an encampment in Rome.

Three brothers and a sister aged from four to 11 perished when the blaze ripped through the shack

The mayor of the Italian capital has now called for special powers to move residents to other sites.

Officials said that the blaze was most likely caused by a burning ember from a wood stove the family used to keep warm.

The area where the fire happened has been popular with Roma travellers for a number of years. It has been occupied, destroyed, and occupied again several times in recent years.

Mayor Gianni Alemanno blamed the bureaucracy involved with moving on Roma people, saying it was taking too much time to obtain all the required local permits to move the nomads to safer sites.

Crackdown: Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno speaks at the site of the fatal fire. He has now called for special powers to move Roma people to safer sites after complaining there is currently too much bureaucracy involved

He said he would ask the national government for special powers to shut down illegal sites and move the nomads to approved locations.

Such a move would mirror strict rules imposed by Nicolas Sarkozy in France in August last year which allowed Roma to be deported.

More than 8,000 Roma were forced to return to Romania or Bulgaria after their camps were shut down. They were followed by hundreds more Roma in the weeks after.

The European Commission rebuked France for the move and Sarkozy faced harsh criticism from rights organisations around the world.

Roma, who come mainly from European Union members Romania and Bulgaria, make up many of the people who enter Italy each year. Most do not integrate and many beg on street corners or wash car windows for change.

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Crackdown: Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno speaks at the site of the fatal fire. He has now called for special powers to move Roma people to safer sites after complaining there is currently too much bureaucracy involved


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