It was around 3:30AM that the Brussels fire service was called to a four-storey house in the Heyvaert District of Anderlecht.
“When we arrived the whole building was ablaze” said fire service spokesman Derieuw speaking earlier this morning. “People were being evacuated and we continued his operation. Twenty-five people have been taken to hospital including four firefighters. Three people are in a critical condition. Three firefighters are suffering smoke inhalation, while a fourth officer has serious burns to his back.”
Figures were later updated. Thirty had been taken to hospital. One person died and four people are critically injured.
In the course of the morning the fire service gained control of the blaze. The fire was difficult to tackle because firefighters experienced issues getting up close at the rear of the building.
The cause of the blaze is being investigated. Police have cordoned off the house and part of the area. Several neighbouring houses have been evacuated too. Dozens of people have been taken to the local police HQ as they could not stay in their homes. They will be allowed to return home when danger has passed. As soon as the fire has been completely extinguished, the prosecutors’ office will dispatch fire experts to examine the scene.
The fire service asked local residents to keep doors and windows closed as a precaution.