150 Firefighters Battle Warehouse Fire in Merchtem, Belgium

Sunday at 2:30 PM, the fire department of Londerzeel received several calls for a possible house fire in Merchtem.

One pumper, which was stationed in Merchtem due the "Grand Prix Eddy Merckx" (a tournament for cyclists), arrived within 30 seconds after the call at the scene. Those fire fighters called in for an working warehouse fire.

At this point, the HUBO store was fully engulfed in flames.

The chief of FD Londerzeel asked for assistance at several fire departments. Fire Department Londerzeel got at that point assistance from: FD Asse, FD Opwijk, FD Buggenhout, FD Vilvoorde, FD Dendermonde, FD Willebroek, FD Brussels Capital and the Civil Protection from Liedekerke.

More than 48 cars, trucks, pumpers, etc... and above 150 fire fighters fought for over 3 hours to extinguish the extremely heavy fire.

Near the store were several houses which were threatened by the fire, due the fast response of the fire department those houses were saved from fire. About 50 people who lived in the neighborhood needed to be evacuated for the risk of an explosion. Also a nearby gas station was saved from the flames.

During the fire some fire fighters had great luck when the rear wall of the building collapsed. Nobody was hurt during this battle.

During the fire "Fase 2" of the emergency plan was active. Mayor De Block from the town of Merchtem coordinated all the services.

Around 6 PM the fire was mostly under control and most of the departments who joined in assistance could drive back to their towns.

Several companies stayed for the night to guard the structure for flames. Also Monday during the whole day some companies stayed to extinguish small flames.

Used equipment:

5 Aerials (100ft / 30m)
10 Pumpers
14 Tankers / Pumpers (from 8.000 to 20.000 Liters)
7 Material trucks
9 Command cars
2 Ambulances
1 Medical Command Car