Florence, January 12 - A group of some 50 migrants staged a protest on Thursday after 44-year-old Somali immigrant Ali Muse died overnight in a fire at an abandoned plant used as a dormitory by asylum seekers in Sesto Fiorentino near Florence. The demonstrators staged a sit-in in front of the local prefect's office, chanting 'shame' and showing banners reading it was the State's fault that the migrant had died. Some of the migrants tried to break into the building. Muse, who was regularly residing in Italy, was killed overnight in a blaze at the former Aiazzone furniture factory used as a dormitory by around 80 Africans, many Somali, who have reportedly lived at the plant for two years. According to an eyewitness, the man was able to get out of the building unharmed when the blaze erupted but went back in to get the documents that would enable family members to join him in Italy. "Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get out, probably because his room was one of the most distant from the door", said the migrant, Mohamed Ali, who said he was the one to alert firefighters. Two other asylum seekers suffered smoke intoxication, but their condition is said not to be serious. Investigators believe the fire could have been caused by the migrants' attempt to warm up in sub-freezing temperatures. Sesto Fiorentino authorities are now reportedly looking for accommodation for the migrants.
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