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Firefighters pelted by glass bottles thrown from roof
A team of firefighters called to put out a fire in a skip in Molenbeek yesterday evening were pummelled with glass bottles. The bottle were thrown down from the roof of a building.
The team had just arrived at the scene on Avenue Mahatma Gandhi, near the Osseghem metro station, and had no trouble with neighbourhood residents. Then suddenly they found themselves dodging the glass bottles.
While the fire truck was slightly damaged, the firefighters escaped injuries. “The bottles were thrown by someone who had taken to the roof of a building,” said brigade spokesperson Walter Derieuw. “They started when the team arrived and continued as they were dousing the blaze. Fortunately, no one on our team was injured, but they were shaken by what happened. They cannot fathom why they would be faced with such senseless violence when they are just doing their job.”
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but it’s possible that it was set on purpose in order to assail the firefighters who arrived to put it out. That would explain why there were a collection of empty glass bottles immediately available to someone on the roof; they could have been collected ahead of time.
It is not the first time that the brigade in Brussels has had to deal with aggression when they were carrying out their work. “We have filed a complaint with the police,” said Derieuw. “We ask our personnel to always report an incident, no matter how minor, so that we can keep track of them. They can also get the support of their colleagues that way, and there is extra psychological assistance if necessary.”
Photo ©Hatim Kaghat/BELGA