Five hospitalized after Deventer fire

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

A large fire broke out in covered shopping passage Proosdijpassage in the heart of Deventer on Wednesday morning. Multiple apartments were evacuated and five people were taken to hospital, four for smoke inhalation, the fifth with a broken leg, AD reports.

The fire broke out around 2:40 a.m. in the shopping passage between Lange Bisschopstraat and Strommarkt. Fire brigades from a wide area responded, due to the vulnerability of the inner city. When they arrived, the entire ceiling of the passage was already on fire. 

Apartments are located above the shops in the passage. Many of the apartments' front doors are in the passage itself. And one end of the passage is closed with a roller shutter at night. This resulted in some residents being trapped between the shutter and fire. One person decided to jump out of the window to escape and broke his legs. Other residents also managed to get themselves to safety, according to the newspaper. 

Firefighters had the fire under control by around 5:30 a.m. Four apartments above the passage are temporarily uninhabitable due to the smoke. Residents of neighboring apartments were also evacuated, but they should be able to return to their homes later in the morning after the fire brigade ventilated their apartments. 

The cause of the fire is not yet clear. The police and fire department are investigating. Local residents are convinced that the fire started in a pile of old paper, according to the newspaper. Wednesday is collection day and the entire city center is full of stacks of boxes and paper. 


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