All 95 apartments in a complex in Amsterdam where fire broke out on Saturday night have been declared uninhabitable by the fire brigade, leaving hundreds of people without a place to live.
The fire broke out in the De Enter development on the Joan Muyskenweg in Amsterdam-Oost at around 8 pm and spread quickly to the roof and apartments in the top three storeys. It took the fire brigade until 2.30 am to get the fire in the eight-storey building under control.
The water damage has caused major problems to the electricity system and the complex’s technical installations need replacing, the fire brigade said. The fire has also caused extensive damage to the roof and to the building façade as well as several apartments.
As yet, the cause of the fire is unknown. According to RTL Nieuws, the fire may have spread to the bitumen-coated roof via the cavity walls.
UPDATE – bewoners kunnen voorlopig niet terug naar hun woning. https://t.co/t9C3l4CNuH
— Brandweer AA (@BrandweerAA) June 4, 2023
“We were alerted to the fire by the smoke alarm,” resident Danny told the Parool. “The fire came in via the air vents. My girlfriend and I tried to put it out with water but of course that did not help. Then we grabbed the cat and banged on all the neighbours doors. Of course there was a panic.”
Residents are being allowed back in under to supervision to collect their personal belongings but it will be months before the building is habitable again, officials said.
People who have no friends or family to stay with are being put up in hotels and council officials are now deciding what should be done next.
Many of those living in the complex were families with young children. “They are very shocked and sad,” mayor Femke Halsema said after visiting some of the people made homeless by the fire.
Despite the scale of the blaze, no-one was injured but one person was taken to hospital for a check-up for smoke inhalation.
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