Fundraiser launched for Arnhem family affected by fatal New Year's fire

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

A fundraiser was launched to support a 38-year-old mother and her 8-year-old daughter who were seriously injured in a fire in an apartment building in Arnhem on New Year's Day. The family's 39-year-old father Raymond and 4-year-old son Jelle were killed in the fire. At 9:30 a.m. on Monday, over 5 thousand euros had been donated.

"Instead of a good start to the new year, it turned into a jet-black night," the initiators wrote on crowdfunding site "We notice that it had a deep impact around us, in Arnhem and far beyond." 

According to the initiators, mother Kim and daughter Romy are no longer in critical condition. "And now let us try to get some financial security for them. So that they can continue to live together in their own house and get their lives back together." The family knows about and approves of this fundraiser, they initiators said. 

The fire in the apartment building on Gelderseplein started in the ground floor hallway just after the turn of the year, at 1:00 a.m. The family of four were in the elevator at the time. They got stuck there when the fire blew out the building's power. The elevator shaft filled with smoke, killing the man and the 4-year-old boy. The woman and girl were critically injured from smoke inhalation

The authorities believe the fire was caused by fireworks being lit in the lobby of the apartment building. The fireworks set a couch on fire, which quickly turned into a major fire, the police said. Two boys, aged 12 and 13, were held by the police. They were later released by a magistrate in Gelderland. The court ordered them to enter a youth rehabilitation program and adhere to several conditions attached to their release.

The magistrate said that while there was sufficient evidence linking the boys to the fire, their "personal circumstances" must also be taken into account.