Fire in Zwolle museum caused by exploding humidifier: director

Stedelijk Museum Zwolle
Stedelijk Museum ZwollePhoto: Jane023 / Wikimedia Commons

An overnight fire at the Stedelijk Museum in Zwolle was caused by a humidifier exploding, the director of the museum told De Stentor. According to him, the spontaneous explosion was recorded by the surveillance cameras. The fire caused large amount of damage and the museum will likely be closed for repairs for a long time, the director expects.

Two museum employees spent the entire night standing guard at the museum as firefighters first extinguished the fire and then ventilated the building, the director said. Students who live around the museum were evacuated from their homes for a short time. Visitors to nearby student bar Het Vliegende Paard watched the firefighters work from the terrace, they did not have to leave the bar.

A couple of hours before the fire, there was a debate about the Stedelijk Museum in the Zwolle city hall. The Zwolle mayor and aldermen's new policy will mean that the museum can't continue existing in its present form, according to the newspaper. Almost all employees will lose their jobs because their tasks will soon be carried out by the Historical Museum Overijssel and the Foundation Allemaal Zwolle.

The time of the fire therefore immediately raised suspicions of arson. When the two employees standing guard at the museum were questioned about possible arson, they burst into tears, according to the newspaper. The questionable future of the museum combined with the fire, were too much for them. 

Local safety office Veiligheidsregio IJsselland could not confirm the cause of the fire to De Stentor. Their investigation is still ongoing, a spokesperson said.