Large fire triggers evacuations in Leeuwarden

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

A number of office buildings and homes in the vicinity of the old tax office in Leeuwarden were evacuated on Friday. A large fire started in the former tax building on Tesselschadestraat on Friday morning, and smoke is drawing over the city, RTL Nieuws reports.

An NL Alert was sent out around 9:00 a.m. warning locals to keep out of the smoke, keep doors and windows closed and to switch of their ventilation. 

Four people were in the building when the fire started, a spokesperson for the municipality said to the broadcaster. They were staying there to prevent squatters moving in. They were safely removed from the building and are being cared for elsewhere. 

According to the municipal spokesperson, the fire department is trying to cool down the building from the outside. "They first have to create a passage, then they'll try to carry out demolition work to be able to reach the fire."

The evacuated office buildings include Veiligheidshuis and a law firm. The bridge keeper's cottage is closed due to the smoke, making sailing traffic impossible. Seven roads are also closed to to traffic. 

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