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Fire department blocked by illegally parked cars in Schaerbeek

18:04 21/10/2019

The fire department was held up on its way to a call in Schaerbeek at the weekend because of illegally parked cars. The fire engine could not get through en route to Rue des Coteaux because of cars parked in Rue Josaphat.

Fortunately, the Brussels fire brigade always sends two engines to every call, each one taking a different route. This prevents the worst possible outcomes in case one of the engines is delayed or blocked by traffic or public works.

On Saturday night, the other fire team was able to get to the house fire quickly and douse the flames. Two people were injured escaping through a broken window, but the injuries were not life threatening.


Residents of Rue Josaphat, meanwhile, came out to move their vehicles, but the fire department had to call the police to remove two cars. While a spokesperson did not specify the problem with how the vehicles were parked, he did mention two regular offences.

“We were able to respond yesterday in time, but it can sometimes have far-reaching consequences,” he told VRT. “Parking policies are not there to annoy people; there is a reason why you’re not allowed to park on a corner or double park. In case of a fire, every minute is crucial.”

The fire brigade is requesting that people do not park illegally, even if cars can get around them.

Photo: Stephanie Giebens/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw


Frank Lee

... but I thought that by removing parking spaces and narrowing streets we were saving the planet??

Oct 22, 2019 15:54
Dirk Vanboven

Yeah! Right on target Frank Lee. Oops, but people in the city still dare to have cars? Can’t they park in hmm... Vienna and commute by newly open night train lines between Vienna-Brussels? This could solve their issue.

Oct 26, 2019 23:01