Duisburg (dpa / lnw) – A fire broke out in the basement of an apartment building in Duisburg early Thursday morning. Three residents were rescued from the heavily smoke-filled building, the fire department said. A woman was taken to hospital with smoke inhalation, a spokesman said.

When the emergency services arrived, the stairwell was already heavily smoked. Several people drew attention to themselves at windows. However, some of them were in safe areas of the house and could remain in their apartments until the end of the operation, it said.

A total of 25 residents were on site, all of whom were examined by the emergency services. Since the house is no longer habitable, they stayed with friends and relatives. The extent of the damage and the cause of the fire were initially unclear. The police are investigating.