Video: Fire destroys Amsterdam thrift store; Dozens of homes evacuated
Firefighters in Amsterdam spent hours early Sunday morning battling a very large fire in a thrift store in the city's West district. The fire was first reported at about 12:30 a.m., with more emergency services personnel still dispatched to the scene eight hours later, the fire department said in a statement.
There were no known injuries, and the cause was still under investigation. The fire was particularly difficult to extinguish because of the amount of flammable items in the shop, a spokesperson for the Amsterdam-Amstelland Security Region told the Telegraaf.
About four dozen apartments adjacent to the smoldering RataPlan shop on Willem Roelofsstraat were evacuated as the fire raged out of control. Crews set up a staging area on the Postjesweg to tackle the flames, calling in a very large fire alarm by about 1 a.m. They declared a Grip 1 local disaster response about 20 minutes later, calling in more support and starting a response protocol where all police, ambulance and fire personnel unite under a single incident commander.
"The fire is not yet under control. As far as we know there are no victims," the fire department said at the time. "Because there is a great deal of smoke and the fire is not yet under control, several homes are currently being evacuated in the flat next to the burning building on Postjesweg in Amsterdam."
While some firefighters worked to extinguish the flames, other crews worked to prevent the fire from spreading to the eight-story apartment building next door. Those evacuated from the building were given shelter in a hotel during the response.
The fire was struck out at about 6:30 a.m., though crews were assigned to stay at the location to extinguish any flare-ups and monitor the rubble for hotspots. Most residents were allowed back in their homes by about 8 a.m., though five apartments remained off-limits, the fire department said.
Tientallen flatwoningen ontruimd bij Zeer grote brand (Grip:1)bedrijfsverzamelgebouw #kringloopwinkel RataPlan Postjesweg. Willem Roelofsstraat #Amsterdam @020West De brand aangrenzend aan een woonflat brak zaterdag om 00:30 uur uit. Pand volledig verwoest. @BrandweerAA pic.twitter.com/Xvs9d0nzhD— Martin Damen (@martindamen58) September 20, 2020
Grote ravage na de uitslaande brand bij het kringloopwinkel bedrijf #Rataplan aan de #Postjesweg in Amsterdam west @BrandweerAA is de hele nacht bezig geweest met nablussen. Omwonenden zijn tijdelijk ondergebracht in een hotel. pic.twitter.com/Iglv6uLtAl— Robby Hiel (@PersburoUNN) September 20, 2020