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“Damage from the water worse than from the fire”

Fire broke out on the roof of the Bozar arts centre in central Brussels on Monday afternoon. The blaze started around 4PM and large plumes of smoke could be seen from far and wide. The fire is believed to have originated in the cooling installation. It soon spread to areas below the roof.  The museum is closed on Mondays so no visitors were present.  Dozens of fire-fighters attended the scene. During the operation to put out the blaze one fire-fighter became unwell and had to be taken to hospital.

Fire-fighters faced quite a challenge to extinguish the blaze given the size of the building says Walter Derieuw of the Brussels fire service: “The source of the fire was hard to reach and we had difficulty getting there with our ladders.  Officers needed to walk on the roof itself and tug the hoses up there.”

Paul Dujardin, Director of the Bozar, says the fire is a tragedy: “Next year we are celebrating our centenary.  Hopefully the government will help us to repair the damaged section really quickly”.

Speaking this morning Mr Dujardin added that most of the damage seemed to have been caused by water from the fire-fighters as well as the rain.

Damage to the Henry Le Boeuf Hall, where the final of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition is staged, is limited, though the gigantic organ that dominates the hall suffered water damage.

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