The fire is believed to have started in a rubbish chute. “Probably someone threw something they shouldn’t have into the chute. The fire produced a lot of smoke and via the rubbish chute this spread throughout the entire building”, Antwerp Police Spokesman Wouter Bruyns told VRT News.
Most of those inside were able to leave the building under their own steam. However, four people had to be evacuated using a Fire Service ladder.
Mr Bruyns added that "Around thirty people required medical assistance for smoke inhalation. 16 of them, including some children, were taken to hospital. None of them are in a serious condition”.