Fire guts Flemish Brabant furniture store

A furniture store in the Flemish Brabant town of Vilvoorde has been gutted by fire. The blaze was so intense that two adjacent houses have been declared uninhabitable. The Fire Service received a call concerning the fire on Saturday evening. There are concerns that asbestos is present in the building. 

This will be investigated and if it proves to be true the asbestos will be removed by a special team from Vilvoorde Municipal Council.   

The fire started shortly before 10pm in the furniture store’s storage area on the Kolveniersstraat. It soon spread and when the Fire Service arrived the flames were already coming out of the roof. The store has been completely gutted and two adjacent houses have been declared uninhabitable.

No one was injured in the fire. Due to the intensity of the blaze the Municipal Emergency Plan was in force for a time and 30 local residents were evacuated. They were taken to a local sport centre.

The Mayor of Vilvoorde Hans Bonte (socialist) told journalists that "Thanks to the efforts of the various emergency services the fire was able to be brought under control quite quickly and most of the houses and the school (behind the store) were spared. The Emergency Plan measures were revoked at 3:59am”.   

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.