Massive Amsterdam recycling center fire triggers NL-Alerts over heavy smoke
A large fire broke out Friday evening within a mountain of scrap metal at a recycling company in Amsterdam. The heavy amount of smoke generated by the fire prompted authorities to distribute an NL-Alert at about 9:10 p.m., and then again at 9:45 p.m.
The fire broke out at about 7:45 p.m. Dispatchers sent dozens of firefighters to tackle the blaze at the facility located on Kwadrantweg in the Westelijk Havengebied district of the capital. By 8:40 p.m., authorities scaled up the alarm to a Grip 1 emergency. That protocol is implemented so that all responding personnel unite under a single incident commander.
The production of smoke was decreasing by 10:30 p.m., even though a large amount of metal was still on fire. The fire department expected it would take several hours to extinguish the blaze.
At one point, the haze from the smoke even extended to Amsterdam Zuidoost, on the opposite side of the city. The smell from the recycling company fire was noticeable in neighboring municipalities, residents told NL Times. Others told AT5 that the smoke cloud was visible from Almere, IJmuiden, and Lelystad.
One NL-Alert cautioned people to “stay out of the smoke, and stay away from the fire location.” The other advised people bothered by the smoke to remain inside with windows and doors shut. People can also turn off ventilation systems.
The warning to stay out of the smoke was withdrawn after 11:30 p.m. The fire brigade determined that “no hazardous substances” could be measured in areas where people reported complaints.
A spokesperson for the fire service told ANP earlier in the evening that, “Smoke is always harmful.”
The NL-Alert system is used to notify the public in a specific area about an incident, or ongoing emergency. The alerts sent out on Friday evening covered the entire city center and surrounding districts, as well as parts of Amsterdam-Noord, the western districts outside of the A10, and most of IJburg and Amsterdam-Zuidoost. The warnings also include Amstelveen, Diemen, Duivendrecht, Weesp, and parts of Muiden.