A Rotterdam-Feyenoord fire department truck (AlfvanBeem/Wikimedia) - Credit: A Rotterdam-Feyenoord fire department truck (AlfvanBeem/Wikimedia)
Monday, 21 March 2016 - 14:35
Fire sweeps through Utrecht area refugee residence
A fire broke out in the Zuilenstein building in Nieuwegein on Sunday afternoon. It was extinguished half an hour later, but damaged the building's bicycle shed and kitchen. About 100 refugees with residency permits are currently living in the building, RTV Utrecht reports. Emergency services responded to the former nursing home on Diepenbrocklaan around 2:30 p.m. By 3:00 p.m. the fire was extinguished. All refugees living in the building had to evacuate for a time, but was allowed back by the end of the day. The municipality of Nieuwegein arranged supper for them, as the kitchen was too damaged to cook in. Mayor Frans Backhuijs is satisfied with how quickly the emergency services extinguished the fire. He spoke to a number of the refugees and concluded that the inhabitants suffered "no extra stress". The cause of the fire is still unknown. The police are investigating. A fire also broke out in a former nursing home set to be an emergency asylum shelter in Haarlem on Sunday. Emergency services responded to the building on Louis Pasteurstraat, where the municipality wants to house 450 asylum seekers for a year, on Sunday morning. The police believe arson was involved. An investigation is underway.