Four Roma children lost their lives when their shack in a makeshift campsite at Tor Fiscale off Via Appia Nuova burst into flames. Thought to be the result of a faulty wood-burning stove, the fire broke out while the children slept and the parents had gone to buy food. Investigators believe that the children Sebastian (11), Elena Patrizia (8), Raoul (7) and Eldeban (3) may have died in their sleep after their bedcovers ignited.
Parents Mirko and Liliana Mircea, who have four other children, were evicted from a camp at Caffarella park just over a year ago and although they refused to be housed in residential accommodation, they had asked authorities for assistance. This was confirmed by Rome's mayor Gianni Alemanno who visited the scene at Tor Fiscale immediately after the fire. The mayor stated that in the wake of the tragedy he would request additional powers in order to establish new authorised camps.
It appears that local residents had repeatedly warned the authorities about the dangers of the illegal settlement, which contains four other makeshift homes, filing their last complaint with the municipal police two months ago.