Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 15:44
Politicians question Haarlem fire response
Local political party Trots op Haarlem (Proud of Haarlem) is wondering why the volunteer fire response unit was not called in to help stem the blaze that ravaged a building in the Houtstraat in the center of the city on Monday afternoon. Earlier, the volunteer fire department in Haarlem-Oost was under threat of having to shut down because of austerity plans. In May, some firemen protested against the cuts, which was not taken lightly. Commander Frans Schippers was not happy about the manner in which the firemen protested. They did so in uniform and with a fire truck, without getting permission to do so. Because of an ongoing investigation into this protest, the mayor of Haarlem has made the decision that the volunteer fire department would not be called in for assistance with fires until the investigation is complete. Trots of Haarlem now wants to know why this volunteer department was not called when units from Velsen-Zuid, Noord Hoofddorp and Heemstede were called. According to the local party, it was said that volunteers would not be called upon at small and medium-scale fires. This big one, therefore, could have received their help. The building in question was a gentleman's club building, which incurred extensive damage due to the fire. The building is listed, and a monument. The fire originated on the roof, it is thought, though the cause is not yet clear.