Soest town hall in Utrecht province has been forced to close temporarily after a fire broke out overnight on Tuesday, causing extensive damage.
Fire crews were called to the council office on Raadhuisplein at around midnight and quickly brought the flames under control, but the interior of the building suffered extensive damage.
Mayor Rob Metz said appointments had been cancelled and council staff were working remotely. “The foyer and the area where we handle citizens’ affairs is a large open hall, the smoke has spread through it.
“The fire doors ensured that a large part of the offices were not damaged by smoke. But the aldermen’s offices and the council chamber are unusable,” he told RTV Utrecht.
Metz added that alternative arrangements would be made for emergencies such as people needing a passport to travel at short notice.
The mayor added that it was too early to speculate about the cause. “It could be a build-up of heat, part of the ceiling has come down and the windows have been blown out.
“It’s certainly not a gas leak, because we don’t use gas in this building.”
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