Massive scrap metal fire in Amsterdam extinguished after 4.5 hours
Firefighters said they managed to extinguish the large fire that engulfed the HKS Metals recycling facility in Amsterdam. The fire broke out in a scrap metal heap at the facility at about 7:45 p.m. on Friday. Over four hours later, the regional fire department said the fire was out at around 12:15 a.m. There were no injuries reported.
The fire caused an enormous amount of thick smoke that hung heavy in the Westelijk Havengebied district of the city. The smoke then spread around the city, with residents noticing a haze and the smell of burning metal as far away as Amsterdam Zuidoost, Amstelveen, Diemen, and Muiden. Plumes of smoke could even be seen from Almere, about 30 kilometers east of the fire.
The large amount of smoke generated by the fire prompted authorities to send out multiple NL-Alert bulletins during the incident. One message cautioned people to “stay out of the smoke, and stay away from the fire location.” Another advised people bothered by the smoke to remain inside with windows and doors shut. It was also recommended that people turn off ventilation systems.
Emergency responders sent crews out to where people reported irritation caused by the smoke. The workers used their equipment to assess if the smoke was toxic. The production of smoke began to decrease by 10:30 p.m., even though a large amount of metal was still on fire.
“No hazardous substances measured where complaints have been reported. NL alert with previous advice has ended,” the fire department said at about 11:30 p.m.
The NL-Alert service is the national government’s emergency notification service, and can be used to send alerts to mobile devices within an affected area. Messages were sent out in both Dutch and English.