Body found after fire in Arnhem neighborhood; 7 homes uninhabitable
Firefighters found a person's body late on Tuesday evening after a massive fire on De Wiltstraat in the Arnhem district of Sint Maarten. The fire left seven homes uninhabitable - two burned down entirely, and the other five sustained significant damage, De Gelderlander reports.
The body was found in a burned-down shed behind a similarly burned-down home, according to the newspaper. The police are investigating the person's identity. Technical- and forensic investigators were also at the scene.
The fire on De Wiltstraat forced the evacuation of 70 locals. One resident was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of relatively minor injuries.
Emergency services first dispatched firefighters to the scene at about 5:45 a.m. Despite their efforts, the situation continued to escalate, with more and more rescue workers sent to help. About 30 minutes after the first call, first responders raised the alarm to a Grip 1 regional emergency, where all first responders from the fire department, police, and paramedics unite under a single incident commander. It took them hours to get the blaze under control.
According to De Gelerlander, locals have been warning the municipality of Arnhem for months that the terraced houses posed a fire risk. The city was unable to intervene immediately because of legal proceedings, mayor Ahmed Marcouch told the newspaper.