Huge fire in builder’s yard sends cloud of smoke over Rotterdam

Close-up of the front of a Dutch fire engine

Several business premises in Rotterdam have been damaged or destroyed in a huge fire that engulfed a large timber storage yard.

A thick cloud of smoke rose over the city after the blaze broke out on Keileweg shortly before 8am on Wednesday.

The fire service told local residents to close doors and windows and circulated an NL-Alert message advising people to keep away from the area. The neighbouring Vierhavensstraat was closed in both directions.

Firefighters spent two hours bringing the flames under control and are expected to spend the rest of the day damping down.

One of the worst hit premises was Buurman Rotterdam, a builder’s yard where timber from the city’s trees are stored. Neighbouring businesses, including branches of Praxis and Leen Bakker, also suffered fire damage.

The heat was so intense that the fire service says the cause of the fire will probably never be known, as all evidence was consumed in the blaze.

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