Polish state will not leave fire victims without aid says PM

The prime minister has promised that the Polish state will support the residents of a village in southern Poland that suffered severe damage in a fire on Saturday night.

The fire, which broke out around 6 p.m. on Saturday, spread rapidly through the village of Nowa Biała's closely packed buildings, damaging or destroying 25 houses and around 50 farm buildings, some of which were made of wood.

"The residents of Nowa Biała were hit by a huge tragedy, but the Polish state will certainly not leave them by themselves," Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday.

"The most important thing is to provide assistance for rebuilding homes and farm buildings," Morawiecki told a press conference in Lublin, eastern Poland.

"Experts are evaluating the losses in order to launch a financing process as quickly as possible," he added.

The prime minister also said that it was necessary to invest more funds in fire prevention in villages like Nowa Biała, where buildings are close together.

Later on Monday, the governor of the Małopolskie Province presented a damage report after a crisis management team meeting.

Five buildings need to be torn down, seven were damaged during the during fire-fighting process and 14 have to be renovated, Łukasz Kmita said.

Kmita presented the report after construction inspectors assessed the total damage in Nowa Biala.

"Our initial estimates show that five houses will qualify for state aid of up to PLN 200,000 (EUR 44,103)," Kmita said. "Eleven houses will receive state aid of up to PLN 100,000 (EUR 22,052) and seven houses up to PLN 20,000 (EUR 4,410)."

The total state aid can be as high as PLN 2.24 million (EUR 493,960), according to the province governor.