Eight killed in US warehouse blaze


The scene of a fatal warehouse fire in New Orleans (AP)

A blaze in an abandoned warehouse in New Orleans has killed eight homeless people who were burning wood in a barrel to stay warm during a freezing night.

New Orleans Fire Department spokesman Greg Davis said firefighters could not tell the ages or genders of the dead.

He added that two survivors told firefighters how the fire started.

Temperatures dipped below freezing on Monday night in New Orleans.

Davis says the fire was reported just before 2am, and the building was fully ablaze when the first truck arrived.

Survivors told firefighters that at least some of the people inside were unconscious. Davis said they might have been knocked out by carbon monoxide, which is likely to build up when anything is burned in an enclosed area.

The building was on the edge of a working-class residential neighbourhood.

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