NewsEntire residential complex on fire: Residents report dramatic scenes...

Entire residential complex on fire: Residents report dramatic scenes – "Inferno"

The fire in a residential complex in Essen has still not been extinguished. So far, the fire department has confirmed three injuries. The mission continues.

  • In Essen, an entire residential complex burned down early Monday morning. (see first report)
  • So far, the fire department has confirmed three injuries. (see update from February 21, 7:53 a.m.)
  • The cause of the major fire is still completely unclear. (see update of February 21, 9.50 a.m.)

Update from February 21, 10:40 a.m .: According to the fire brigade, the fire in a residential building in Essen has not yet been extinguished on Monday morning. Inside the building there are still individual flaring fire nests, said a fire department spokesman. A spread of the fire to other surrounding buildings can now be ruled out.

The building complex is about ten years old. “The massive spread of fire surprised all emergency services,” emphasized the spokesman. You’ve never experienced anything like it. Normally there are fire barriers in modern buildings, so something like that is actually not possible. Why it could still happen in this case has to be investigated. The police want to start an investigation as soon as possible.

Essen’s Mayor Kufen relieved: No missing persons at the moment

Essen’s Lord Mayor Thomas Kufen (CDU) expressed his relief that apparently no one died in the major fire. That was “not a matter of course with this fire of this magnitude,” said Kufen of the dpa. Nobody is missing at the moment. Fortunately, there have only been three people with smoke poisoning so far – “thanks to the efforts of the neighbors, but also to the forces of our fire brigade and the rescue service”. He is very proud of that.

The city administration is now taking care of the accommodation of the people who cannot go back to their apartments. “A citizens’ hotline has been set up and a donation account is currently being set up because I know that the people of Essen stick together in this situation and show a great willingness to help.”

Big fire in Essen: Police want to start investigations

Update from February 21, 9.50 a.m .: The cause of the fire in a large residential building in Essen has not yet been clarified. A police spokeswoman said on Monday that investigations would be started as soon as possible. At the moment it is still being extinguished and then you have to see how quickly you can enter the burnt ruins. “But then of course we determine how it could have happened.”

Völlig ausgebrannt ist ein großer Wohnkomplex. Im Essener Westviertel stand seit dem frühen Montagmorgen ein ganzer Wohnblock in Flammen.


The affected residential complex in Essen burned out completely.

About 180 people from the burnt-out residential building and surrounding buildings have been accommodated in a neighboring lecture hall center. This included children, the elderly, people in wheelchairs, “the complete cross-section of ages,” said the responsible section manager, Sebastian Smitmans, from the Malteser. The people are “collected and calm”. Emergency counselors would offer talks. According to the fire brigade, around 100 people lived in the burned-out house itself.

A 69-year-old resident of an attic apartment said she was awakened early in the morning by a loud knock on the front door. All she could do was throw on a coat and put on shoes. “I left my cell phone on the bedside table,” she says. Her glasses stayed there too. She was told that her apartment was completely burned.

Big fire in Essen: Residents report dramatic scenes – “Inferno”

Update from February 21, 9:15 a.m .: A 35-year-old resident was one of the first eyewitnesses to the big fire. “It was around two o’clock when I wanted to go to bed and so I turned off the last lights and outside, ‘Fire! Fire!’ screamed,” he reported to the German Press Agency. “And then I looked out the window and there was smoke coming out where the blinds were half mast. So I said, ‘Okay, that’s more serious.'”

He tried to call the fire department, got dressed and ran outside. “Then flames came blazing up from all the other side of the building. It was like an inferno. The wind whipped up the flames – sparks.” The first fire engine arrived shortly thereafter. The firefighters ran into the house and then shouted: “We need help!” The resident followed the call together with two other people. “Then the three of us ran up the stairwell there. And there was a wheelchair user who of course couldn’t use the elevator anymore and couldn’t get down. So the three of us carried it down. Two in the back, I grabbed the front, carried him down. Then the police came and everything was evacuated.”

Then it went incredibly fast. “Within 20 minutes the whole house was completely on fire. You have the feeling that you are in a fire inferno here.” As of Monday morning, flames were still erupting from the burned-out L-shaped building complex. An end to the extinguishing work is not yet in sight, said a spokesman in the morning. “This is very difficult and sometimes dangerous for the emergency services at the moment, since they have to go into every apartment.” The residents were housed in a nearby university lecture hall.

Essen: Residential complex in flames – Three injured confirmed

Update from February 21, 7:53 a.m .: According to the WDR, the fire brigade in Essen speaks of an “unprecedented fire”. Accordingly, 50 residential units on four floors and a total of around 100 people are affected.

The fire “spread very quickly,” said Christoph Risse, a spokesman for the Essen fire department. When we arrived we heard a lot of smoke alarms. Many people were quickly taken out of the building. However, it is still unclear whether all residents could be evacuated in time. The spokesman confirmed only three injured people who suffered from smoke inhalation.

First report from February 21: Essen – This early Monday morning, a complete residential complex is on fire in the Westviertel in Essen. “All available professional fire brigades were alerted,” said a spokesman for the fire brigade of the German Press Agency. The fire could not be brought under control.

Essen: Residential complex is on fire – fire brigade in large-scale operation

As a spokesman for the police* said, the fire object is an L-shaped building complex. For reasons that have not yet been explained, the buildings caught fire one after the other. The houses were evacuated. The residents were housed in a nearby university lecture hall. It is not yet known whether there are injuries or deaths.

Wohnkomplex in Essen brennt.


In Essen, an entire residential complex is on fire.

As the fire brigade announced on Twitter, the extinguishing work will cause disruptions in rush-hour traffic. Segerothstrasse and Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse in Essen are completely closed. According to the information, a warning was also sent via the “NINA” warning app. The western quarter borders directly on the core of the city in North Rhine-Westphalia*.

The WAZ recently reported on a series of fires in the city. There were three fires within a week in the Eltingviertel north of the city center.

In Munich, a warehouse fire* recently called for the fire brigade. (ph with dpa) * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA

List of rubrics: © Christoph Reichwein/dpa

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