meIn Essen early Monday morning, a modern apartment building has been largely destroyed by a major devastating fire and is in danger of collapsing. The 128 residents were able to leave the burning building in time, three of them suffered from smoke inhalation and were taken to hospital. 35 apartments were completely burned, and four others were damaged by smoke and extinguishing water. The fire department Talk about an “unprecedented fire”. On Monday afternoon, structural engineers announced that large parts of apartment buildings are at risk of collapsing.
The fire spread from the balcony. As announced by the fire brigade, the “Antonia” storm that broke out during the night clearly ensured that the fire spread rapidly across the facade and balconies that were blowing in the wind. The building, which has a facade of about 65 meters and four and a half floors, is equipped with a heat-insulated composite facade. An eyewitness reported that the flames ignited in the apartment building within a short period of time and were actually caused by the wind. “It was like hell.”
39 flats burned down
A spokesman for the firefighters said the “massive spread of fire” surprised emergency services, which were called shortly after 2 am. Usually there are fire barriers in modern buildings, so such a fire is not actually possible. Thus, it is likely that one of the central questions that experts deal with is whether the fire protection rails are installed correctly.
The apartment complex was a 2015 new build, which was fitted with fire rated doors against the rapid spread of fire, in accordance with building regulations. A spokesperson for the homeowner, Vivawest Wohnen GmbH, said the fire doors were last serviced in March 2021. The spokesman said the home’s insulation is done primarily with mineral fiber boards because they are less prone to fire than polystyrene insulation materials.
“WAZ” recently reported a series of fires in the city. Three fires broke out within a week in the Elling area north of downtown. The police want to start the investigation as quickly as possible.
According to the fire department, the fire has not yet been extinguished. A fire department spokesman said there were still individual fire nests inside the building. The spread of the fire to other surrounding buildings can now be ruled out. It is not yet possible to provide data on the extent of the damage and even more on the cause of the fire, because fire experts have not yet been able to enter the building.
Vivawest Wohnen GmbH said the major fire affected 39 apartments. The company promised to provide support to 128 tenants of the burned apartments. “We are deeply affected and wish a speedy recovery to the injured tenants,” said Ue Eichner, CEO.
“Within 20 minutes, the entire house was on fire.”
Three people were injured in the fire. They were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation. According to Mayor Thomas Coffin (CDU), no one is missing. Firefighters were on site with 150 emergency services.
Prime Minister NRW Hendrik Wüst (CDU) has expressed shock at the fire in an apartment complex. “The news from Essen is horrific,” the prime minister wrote on Twitter on Monday. “A lot of people lost their homes and belongings overnight. I informed OBTKufen of the situation in a phone call. My heartfelt thanks go to the emergency services on site who are still fighting the fire.”
The approximately 180 residents of the burned-down apartment block and surrounding buildings were housed in an adjacent lecture hall centre. This included children, the elderly, and people in wheelchairs, “the entire cross-section of the ages,” said department manager in charge, Sebastian Smitmans, of Malteser. People “calm” and calm. Emergency advisors will provide talks.
As a direct resident, 35-year-old Lennart Diedrich was one of the first eyewitnesses to the fire. “It was about two o’clock when I wanted to go to bed and so I turned off the last lights and outside, ‘Fire! Shooting!’ “The screaming,” said Diedrich of the German news agency DPA. “And then I looked out the window and there was smoke rising as the curtains were halfway up. And I said, ‘Well, that’s more serious.’
He tried to call the fire department, got dressed and ran outside. “Then the fire erupted from the other side of the building. It was like hell. The wind lit the flames – sparks.” The first fire truck arrived shortly afterwards. The firefighters ran into the house and then shouted, “We need help!” Diedrich continued the call with two other people. “Then the three of us ran up the stairs there. And there was a wheelchair user who, of course, couldn’t use the lift anymore and didn’t get off. So three of us picked her up. Two in the back, I grabbed the front, and carried him down. Then the police came and everything was evacuated. “.
Then things went incredibly fast. “Within 20 minutes, the entire house was on fire.”
Due to the firefighting work, there were obstacles in the movement of passengers. According to the fire brigade, Segerothstrasse and Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse in the western district of Essen are completely closed. The western district is directly adjacent to Essen city center to the west.
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