RIGA - Already the day before this morning's tragic fire at an illegal hostel on Merkela Street in Riga, a person was found dead, most likely from a drug overdose, LETA has found out.
Inga Vitola, a representative of the Emergency Medical Service (NMPD), confirmed to LETA that on Tuesday a call was received at the address on Merkela Street in Riga. When arriving to the scene, medics established that one person had passed away, which had occurred before their arrival, as well as provided medical assistance to another person.
State Police spokeswoman Simona Gravite told LETA that the police had initiated criminal proceedings and ordered examinations to determine the exact cause of death, but believe the person may have died from an overdose of drugs.
Also, on Tuesday, at around 6 pm, police again received another call out to the same address, where a person was possibly under the influence of illegal narcotics.
Police arrested a man who was found with a syringe, possibly containing drugs, at the scene. The police have also initiated two administrative violation proceedings for small-scale possession of drugs.
The NMPD confirmed that the service has been called out to the address on Merkela Street 8 at least ten time in the past month. The most frequent calls were related to the use of illegal substances.
As reported, eight people died in a fire in a downtown Riga hostel Wednesday morning, LETA learned from the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD).
VUGD received a call to a fire on Merkela Street at 5 a.m. The top floor and roof of a six-storeyed building were on fire.
Rescue of people was launched immediately, but eight people were found dead in the floor on fire.
At least nine people were rescued and handed over to medics, 24 more people were evacuated. The Riga authorities are taking care of them.