There seems to be no end to the series of car fires that have been plaguing Eindhoven for months now. On Monday morning two cars went up in flames again, this time on Saenredamstraat in Stratum. Sadly the owner has other worries: “I am seriously ill, already lost my house and then this too”.
Newspapers make a short reference to these fires with an almost predictable addition: ‘police do not rule out arson’. And if it is already established that such a fire has been set, the question ‘by whom’ remains unanswered in most cases. The pyromaniacs are just too cautious to leave clues. Sometimes the Fire Department finds traces in or near the car that indicate arson, such as remnants of firelighters. Apart from that, these kinds of fires take place at night which points in the direction of malicious intent.
Above all, every fire is a new personal drama for the car owner. Not only the sight of burning or burnt-out property but also the financial noose that follows, making a replacement car unaffordable, contributes to the misery. Most car owners have a third party liability insurance and are left empty-handed after a car fire.
Blow after blow
Johan van Buul, who shockingly lost two cherished classic cars at the same time in the fire last night, is in a predicament. “I’ve been homeless for years, I’m very sick and now also this”, says Van Buul, staring at his charred Ford Taunus and partly burned out Mercedes. There’s not much left of the Ford other than a pathetic pile of metal with a melted interior. The Mercedes is also badly damaged. “But”, Van Buul sounds determined: “I’ll get it fixed up. That Ford is lost. I can’t do anything with it anymore.”
Van Buul has no idea who is behind the fire. “But he shouldn’t show himself here, because then his life will be in danger. Although of course I’m not allowed to say that. I am now waiting for the police to investigate. Maybe cameras from the school next door caught something”.
The count on the number of registered car fires in Eindhoven now stands at 80 for 2020. For the time being, this year keeps pace with last year, which held the record. 2019 ended with a total of 139 car fires.
Translated by: Bob
Edited by: Nicole