Toxic smoke released by Nunspeet fire triggers large evacuation

Fire at Stella Fietsen in Nunspeet, 11 July 2018
Fire at Stella Fietsen in Nunspeet, 11 July 2018Photo: @JFrens / Twitter

A large fire broke out in a multi-company building in Nunspeet on Wednesday afternoon. Toxic substances were measured in the smoke and the surrounding area was evacuated. The around 300 residents of 120 homes had to spend the night elsewhere. There is no danger to public health, and residents who want to can return to their homes on Thursday, the municipality announced on Thursday morning, AD reports.

The fire broke out at around 2:30 p.m. in the store room of electric bike company Stella Fietsen. The store room contained 3 thousand electric bikes and 6 thousand batteries. The building collapsed and can be considered a loss. The fire department had the fire under control in the early evening. As thousands of batteries have to be removed from the debris, the cleanup is taking a long time. 

The fire was quickly scaled up to GRIP 2 - coordinated regional incident control procedure - and in the evening to GRIP 3, which means that the incident requires good coordination between the emergency services, the mayor gets involved and there are noticeable consequences for a larger region. 

An apartment attached to the burning building was also damaged by the fire, a spokesperson for the local safety office said to AD. No one was injured. Firefighters rescued a cat and two guinea pigs from the home.