Mother presses charges against fire brigade after son's death in Diemen fire
The mother of David Swart, a student who died in an apartment building fire in Diemen this summer, is pressing charges against te fire department. Another person was seriously injured in the fire. The victims were only found hours after the fire started and the fire department had the fire under control. "I'll never get my son back, but this should never happen again", Esther Schoen said to AT5.
An investigation by the Institute of Physical Security concluded that there was a miscommunication during the fire fighting on July 19th, according to RTL Nieuws. The fire department command did not know that there was a second stairwell in the apartment building, and therefore only evacuated the first seven floors. David Swart's body was found on the 12th floor, hours after the fire broke out. He suffocated due to the smoke. His death may have been prevented if the entire building was evacuated.
Esther Schoen immediately thought of her son when she heard about the fire. "But for the rest I thought: It must be a coincidence that it's his apartment building", she said to the Amsterdam broadcaster. After repeated attempts to get hold of her son failed, she drove to Diemen. "First you look through the people and look at lists. You can't find him. Then we had to sit to one side and wait again. That waiting and searching is really nerve wrecking."
A few hours later she got the bad news. Now that the investigation concluded that the fire department made mistakes, Schoen wants to know exactly what happened, she said to AT5. "I thought David lived safely in that flat and that does not seem to be the case at all."
Shortly after the fire the police arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of arson. He is still in custody, according to RTL.