Belgian Firefighters Killed in Abandoned House Fire

Loose translation from Gazet Van Antwerpen


Two firefighters perished in heavy fire in Beringen: “Black Day”

In the Limburg province of Beringen a heavy fire was created in a vacant house on the night of Saturday on Sunday. The fire struck over to other properties. In the fire fighters, two fatalities have fallen. That made Zone Commander Bert Swijsen known. Four others were injured.

The fire broke out around 02.10 hours at the Koolmijn Laan in an empty dwelling. “What initially seemed like an ordinary fire that we could extinguish was turned to a flash over which the fire rekinded,” said Mayor Thomas Vints (CD&V). The flame sea later spread over the entire house block.

“Additional teams were summoned from the nearest barracks of our zone, Heusden-Zolder and Tessenderlo,” says zone Commander Bert Swijsen. “While the intervention teams invaded the building to fight the fire, a combustion of the hot smoke gases in the building has occurred. Immediately the signal was given to withdraw as soon as possible. A number of colleagues have not been able to put their safety in time. Due to the heat and the pressure wave, a part of the building collapsed. The evacuation showed that there were two colleagues missing ware

After a part of the building collapsed, the medical contingency plan was proclaimed. There was reinforcement of other fire stations in the south-West Limburg zone and two other emergency areas in Limburg. Four firefighters from the south-West Limburg zone were injured. It was about three slightly wounded and a heavily wounded. The slightly wounded were transferred to the hospital of Heusden-Zolder with a smoke intoxication. They have now left the hospital. The heavily injured has been transported to Leuven. His condition would be stable.

“During the search with the maximum stake of all colleagues, the two missing firefighters were unfortunately recovered lifeless. Our first concern concerns all families of the victims. All families have been informed and we try to assist them as well as possible. All victims are from the post Heusden-Zolder, “says Swijsen. It’s about “two young daddy’s”, so it was reported at a press conference about the fire. They were men of 37 and 42 years, both volunteer firemen.

The Corps of Heusden-Zolder has 16 professional and 59 volunteer firefighters. “19 August 2019 will forever be a black day for our congregation,” said Mayor of Heusden-Zolder Mario Borremans. MORE

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