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Work to extinguish a major fire in Berlin is still ongoing

Work to extinguish a major fire in Berlin is still ongoing

As of: May 3, 2024 at 9:22 p.m

In the Lichterfelde district, southwest of Berlin, a factory building has been on fire since this morning. No hazardous materials were detected in the air, but the warning remains in effect into the evening.

  • A fire crew will likely be on duty at a major blaze in Lichterfield until Saturday
  • Parts of the factory building collapsed and toxic chemicals were stored inside
  • It was clear in the afternoon: no increase in the values ​​of hazardous materials measurements by the city fire department
  • THW at work due to contaminated fire water
  • The company belongs to the Diehl group, which also produces defense technology, but not in Berlin

A huge cloud of smoke formed on Friday during a major fire at a metal technology company in Berlin-Lichterfelde. The fire brigade deployed for a large-scale operation and was on site with up to 223 emergency services. By the evening, they had managed to “broadly contain the fire,” Deputy State Fire Chief Per Kleist told RBB TV.

However, the extinguishing process is still ongoing. According to fire department estimates, firefighting work will continue until at least Saturday morning, but possibly for several days. Fire department spokesman Adrian Wentzel told RBB radio that the operation was difficult because firefighters were unable to enter the building.

The fire department warns of potential health risks, also due to chemicals being stored in the hall. An official danger warning said the smoke was moving north over the west of the city – the warning area was later restricted. The fire brigade also called on people to avoid the area in the evening. Residents should continue to keep windows and doors closed and turn off air conditioners.

THW takes care of contaminated firefighting water

According to Kleist, contaminated firewater is now a problem in the fire. That is why the Technical Relief Agency (THW) is now also working in Lichterfeld.

Extinguishing colleagues will prevent water contaminated with chemicals from entering the sewer system or culvert. In the so-called emergency operation, the plant had a basin to hold fire water, but it is now full, Kleist says.

According to the fire department, there are no high values

According to the fire department, copper cyanide and sulfuric acid, among other things, were stored in the Diehl Metal building. There is also a risk that toxic hydrogen cyanide may form. In order to detect pollutants in the air, the fire department conducted measurements in the city area in the afternoon.

At 4 p.m. Vinzenz Cash from the Berlin Fire Department gave the go-ahead on RBB TV. “We had to assume that the fire would release hazardous materials into the air. That's why we issued this warning to West Berlin as a precaution,” Cash said. But according to current measurements, it can be said that there are no increasing values ​​and therefore there is no acute danger currently.

In the early evening, the fire department reported that the smoke had since decreased, and the danger warning was only in effect for Berlin-Lichterfelde and North Teltau (Potsdam-Mittelmark).

Company spokesman: There is no production of military equipment

The metal processing company in Lichterfelde belongs to the Diehl group, which also produces weapons and supplies them to Ukraine, among other countries. But not in Berlin: the Diehl Defense subsidiary has an office in the capital only on Potsdamer Platz.

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The Berlin company belongs to the Diehl Metall subsidiary, according to company spokesman Michael Fitz, and is an electroplating company that produces, among other things, auto parts. According to Fitz, no military equipment was produced there.

According to ARD information, there is still no evidence of any external influence on the fire. However, there was speculation on social media about a possible act of sabotage with Russian involvement.

The building partially collapsed – extinguishing the fire is difficult

The fire broke out on Friday morning at the company located on Am Stichkanal Street. As a fire department spokesman told rbb, the fire broke out in a technical room on the first floor of the multi-storey building. Meanwhile, the entire 2,000 square meter building caught fire and parts of the building collapsed.

Emergency services were able to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings, some of which also stored chemicals, according to a fire department spokesman.

Photo Gallery

Major fire in a factory in Berlin-Lichterfelde

The hardware store and supermarket were disinfected

After the fire broke out, the company's employees were able to reach safety, according to the fire department. There were no injuries. Surrounding buildings, including a hardware store and grocery store, were evacuated. In Berlin amateur football, fires broke out due to smoke Some games were canceled on Friday.

As announced by the Berlin Traffic Information Center (VIZ), the Beeskowdamm/Goerzallee road between Wupperstraße and Wismarer Straße is closed in both directions. BVG bus traffic is also affected. Bus line 285 will be rerouted: in the direction of the S-Bahn and U-Bahn Rathaus Steglitz station between Wupperstraße and Appenzeller Straße and in the direction of Waldfriedhof Dahlem between Engadiner Weg and Wupperstraße.

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Broadcast: rbb Spezial, May 2, 2024, 8:15 p.m