At least 3 shops destroyed in Delfzijl fire; increasing risk of collapse

A Dutch Firetruck in action on the heathland near Ede P.J.L Laurens/Wikimedia Commons. ()

At least three retail properties were destroyed in a fire that started in a clothing shop in the center of Delfzijl early on Friday morning. According to the fire department, there is a good chance that the clothing store will collapse, RTV Noord reports.

"It is a very big fire", a spokesperson for the fire department said to the broadcaster. "So big that the fire department is sure that part of the Delfzijk shopping center will be reduced to ashes. At least three stores are already lost. The properties are connected to each other or have narrow corridors between. So they are very close together."

Firefighters are doing everything in their power to prevent the fire spreading further to nearby stores, Expert and Intertoys. So far they seem to be succeeding, though the stores sustained considerable water damage, according to RTV Noord. At least 40 firefighters are working to get the fire under control.

As far as is known, no one was injured in the fire. The shops were empty when the fire started. And the people who live above the clothing store were warned in time to escape safely. They were given shelter in the Delfzijl town hall. 

A lot of smoke is being released by the fire. The fire department advises local residents to keep doors and windows closed, turn off mechanical ventilation and stay out of the smoke as much as possible.