Asbestos concerns in Valkenswaard warehouse fire

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

A large fire broke out in a warehouse on Kromstraat in Valkenswaard on Monday night. Asbestos was found in the warehouse's roof. Released soot and ash spread across a wide area around the warehouse. Local residents are advised to keep their doors and windows closed. The fire department is investigating whether asbestos polluted the surrounding area, Eindhovens Dagblad reports.

The fire broke out in a warehouse of Gebr Roest around 9:00 p.m. on Monday. Fire departments from, among others, Waalre, Valkenswaard, Leende and Best were deployed to fight the fire. When the presence of asbestos was discovered around 9:25 p.m., the situation was scaled up to GRIP 1. A GRIP 1 regional incident calls for emergency services to establish a coordinated chain of command, and active communication with the local mayor’s office, regional fire department command, district police chief and the public health director.

A 9:30 an NL-Alert was sent to local residents, advising people to stay inside, close their windows and doors and turn off their ventilation due to the large amounts of smoke released by the fire. Another NL-Alert was sent two hours later, emphasizing the need to keep windows and doors closed and stay out of the smoke. By that time the fire was under control, but the fire departments were still working on extinguishing it. 

A police spokesperson told ED that no one was injured in the fire. The cause of the fire is still unknown.