A big blaze broke out in an empty building the centre of Eindhoven last Saturday. This released so much smoke that nearby pavement cafés were evacuated and a music festival had to be shut down. The fire brigade decided to partially demolish the building so that the fire could be extinguished more effectively.
Huge plumes of smoke rose from the very large fire raging in the Lichtstraat. An NL-Alert was sent out at eight o’clock as the smoke swept across the city centre. The Jumbo store near the front door closed because of the smoke. Beer hall Radegast 040 even had to close for the rest of the evening, the owner confirmed by phone. “The fire is in an old Philips building. There is such toxic smoke coming from it.”
‘A very pungent smell’
Visitors to the Bridge Guitar Festival a little further away were also sent home, an employee of Café Wilhelmina said. There was a stage in front of the door for performances there. “But it was no longer doable. The smoke stank terribly. A very pungent smell, smelling like burnt plastic.”
De witte rook werd opeens zwart. #eindhoven pic.twitter.com/XCiyGe9Yad
— Arjan de Vet (@ArjandeVet) May 13, 2023
Later in the evening, part of the roof collapsed. According to the fire brigade, the building was often used by homeless people. It is unclear whether any were inside when the fire broke out. Firefighters did make a quick entry, but did not see anyone.
A fire service spokesman earlier informed that the extinction would take some time. He also reported that more than 100 colleagues were deployed. There were numerous fire engines in the Lichtstraat, including three aerial platforms. Police and enforcement had to turn away curious people several times.
Scale up response
The emergency services had fairly quickly scaled up to Grip 1: source control. This rule takes effect if there is a major incident. Because water was taken from the Dommel river, the supply hose lying there caused some traffic disruption. Around ten o’clock in the evening, Grip 2 (source and effect control) was declared because of the traffic and smoke nuisance that had arisen.
The building on the Lichtstraat can be considered lost. The fire brigade decided to partially demolish the building so that targeted extinguishing could be carried out.
Source: Omroep Brabant