At least 15 children killed in Haiti orphanage fire

Burned remains are seen in a room inside the Orphanage of the Church of Bible Understanding where a fire broke out the previous night in the Kenscoff area outside of Port-au-Prince. (AFP)
Burned remains are seen in a room inside the Orphanage of the Church of Bible Understanding where a fire broke out the previous night in the Kenscoff area outside of Port-au-Prince. (AFP)

A fire swept through an unlicensed orphanage outside Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, killing 15 children, a local judge told AFP on Friday.

The building - which had not been authorized to operate as an orphanage since 2013 - housed about 66 children, said Raymonde Jean Antoine.

The fire in Kenscoff - a town of 50 000 south of the capital - began shortly after 21:00 on Thursday, she said.

Two children died in the blaze and 13 others died at a local hospital as a result of smoke inhalation, the judge added.

The cause of the fire and the victims' ages were not immediately known.

The two-story building was in a state of complete disrepair, with bunk beds - some in deplorable condition - crammed into small rooms, a cramped staircase and only one usable exit door, an AFP reporter saw.

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