One hospitalized as firefighters battle large residential blaze in Arnhem
At least one person was injured at the scene of a large fire in a residential area of Arnhem early Tuesday morning. The smoke from the blaze forced the evacuation of the entire neighborhood around De Wiltstraat in the Gelderland city’s Sint Maarten district.
“One injured person has been taken to hospital,” the Gelderland-Midden emergency services office said on social media. Firefighters spent several hours battling the blaze in an effort that was still ongoing at 9 a.m.
The flames rose several meters in the air from a terraced house on the street, according to Omroep Gelderland. The cause of the blaze was not immediately known. The smell of the fire was noticeable in the surrounding area.
🔥👩🚒🧯— Floyd Aanen (@FaanenFM) January 31, 2023
Beelden van de fik vanochtend vroeg ik Arnhem. Gefilmd door buurtbewoner Roy van Omme. @OmroepGLD pic.twitter.com/zIMyY6zyRO
“The fire in the side-building and now also a house has not yet been extinguished. Many units were deployed to fight the fires. There is still a strong production of smoke, as a result of which the Jan Ligthart School will not be able to open,” the fire department said on social media.
Those affected by the fire were first gathered in a cafe, where many people could be seen observing the commotion in their pyjamas. They were then asked to move to a larger reception area set up in the Musis concert hall.
Emergency services first dispatched firefighters to the scene at about 5:45 a.m., records show. Despite their efforts, the situation continued to escalate, with more and more rescue workers sent to help. About 30 minutes after the first call, the alarm was raised to a Grip 1 regional emergency, where all first responders from the fire department, police, and paramedics unite under a single incident commander.
Vanwege de grote rookontwikkeling worden de woningen in De Wiltstraat ontruimd meldt @crisisGM Als je last hebt van de rook, sluit dan ramen en deuren en zet de ventilatie uit. #brand #arnhem pic.twitter.com/f4c2gjLAMl— Frank van Dijk (@radiovandijk) January 31, 2023
The heavy levels of smoke led to the evacuation of all the homes on De Wiltstraat. “If you are bothered by the smoke, close windows and doors and turn off the ventilation,” the Gelderland-Midden Security Office said.
Authorities also sent out a warning to many Arnhem residents about the smoke using the NL-Alert crisis communications system. The message targeted people who were present in the area north and northeast of the city center, and south of the A12 motorway.
De @brandweerGM meldt een zeer grote #brand in De Wiltstraat in #Arnhem. De brand is moeilijk te bereiken. Foto's via @rolandheitink pic.twitter.com/CMrDeY7f89— Frank van Dijk (@radiovandijk) January 31, 2023
Some people in the region might notice discolored water coming from their taps, a spokesperson for water company Vitens told Omroep Gelderland. This is because so much water is pumped for the firefighters that it disrupts the water pressure for others. "Then more oxygen or iron enters the water, and that can result in a gray or brown color."
Residents can let the tap run for a bit, at which point the color should return to normal. The discolored water is not harmful, he told the broadcaster.