Man & 4 y.o. boy killed in Arnhem apartment building fire; two seriously hurt

Brandweer fire department Volkswagen
Stock image of a Dutch fire department Volkswagen vehiclephoto: cakifoto / DepositPhotos

A man and a 4-year-old boy were killed in a fire in an apartment building in Arnhem early on New Year's morning. A woman and girl were seriously injured, the Gelderland police said on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

The fire started in the entrance hall of the building on Gelderseplein at around 1:00 a.m. The two adults and two children were found in the elevator. Whether it involves a family, is not yet clear.

The building lost electricity as a result of the fire, trapping the four victims in the elevator, which quickly filled up with smoke and caused the victims to lose consciousness, a spokesperson for the local safety office said to NOS.

Multiple apartments in the building were evacuated as firefighters fought the fire. The fire department went from door to door to make sure all residents were okay. The fire was quickly under control, but the elevator and stairwell of the building sustained serious damage.

The cause of the fire is not yet known. The police are investigating. 

Mayor Ahmed Marcouch of Arnhem said that he and Arnhem are shocked by the deaths. "What happened tonight in this apartment building on Gelderseplein, is a massive drama that has an incredible impact on the lives of those involved. My thoughts are with the victims, the relatives and all their loved ones," he said. "I sympathize intensively with them. My thoughts also go to the aid workers who tried to save these lives."