Major fire kills one, destroys buildings, in central Leeuwarden

One person has been killed and the birthplace of the famous spy and erotic dancer Mata Hari has been destroyed in a major city centre fire in Leeuwarden.

At least 15 shops and flats were affected by the fire which broke out in a clothes shop in the Frisian capital late on Saturday afternoon. Dozens of people were evacuated as the blaze spread through several properties.

One man, a 24-year-old living in one of the apartments, died in the blaze which was not brought under control until Sunday morning. He is thought to be the person who alerted the emergency services, but firemen were not able to reach him in time, local broadcaster Nos television said.

The birthplace of Mata Hari, one of Leeuwarden’s most famous residents, is among the buildings destroyed in the blaze.

Dozens of photographs, her first school report and other artifacts have been lost, local councillor Wyb Feddema, who owned a hairdressing salon in the property named after the spy, told local media.

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