The fire started at round 4:30am on Sunday in the three-story building on the Jozef Liesstraat. Dimi Vercammen of the Antwerp Fire Service told VRT News that “When we arrived, we saw that the whole of the first floor and the stairwell was in flames”. The fire produced large amounts of smoke and the heat was all but unbearable.
"Some members of our crew started tackling the fire while the rest when looking for victims. Eventually they brought one victim out of the building”, Mr Vercammen said.
An 85-year-old woman died in the blaze; her 84-year-old husband was able to escape in time. He was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
The building sustained severe fire damage and experts will examine whether it will have to be demolished. The Fire Service will also examine where the adjacent buildings have suffered damage as a result of the fire.
The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical appliance. An investigation will be carried out to confirm whether or not this was the cause.