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Fire rages through Anderlecht residence, puts 30 in hospital
A major fire in Anderlecht raged through a four-storey residence this morning, killing one person and putting 30 more in hospital, including four firefighters. The apartment building is in the Heyvaert quarter, near the Abattoir.
The fire is currently under control, but firefighters are still extinguishing flare-ups as they try to reach an extension at the rear of the building that is apparently a storage for paper goods. They have been working for hours, having reached the scene at about 3.30 this morning.
“When we arrived, the building was engulfed in flames,” said fire brigade spokesperson Walter Derieuw. “People were already fleeing the building, and we carried out several rescues ourselves.”
According to Bruzz, one man jumped out of a window to escape the flames, while another family took to their shower.
“Thirty people, including four firefighters, have been taken to hospital,” said Derieuw. “Some of them have already been released. Four of them are in critical condition. Three of the firefighters suffered from smoke inhalation, and one has severe burns to the back.”
Residents of neighbouring houses and flats were also evacuated. “They will soon be able to return home because there is no further danger that the fire will spread,” said Derieuw.
Residents of the neighbourhood have been asked to keep their doors and windows shut today. The cause of the fire is as yet unknown. “This is an industrial neighbourhood with a lot of warehouses between the houses,” said Anderlecht mayor Fabrice Cumps. “In this case, there is a warehouse containing paper that is now on fire.”
Photo courtesy Brussels Fire Brigade/BELGA