Friday, December 10, 2010

Fire in Alkmaar

I’ve written that Alkmaar is often a calm city, but there was real excitement today.  A large fire at a manufacturing facility across the North Holland Canal was the first thing visible when opening curtains at 07h15. 

It was still burning as of 13h00, shortly after fire fighters began another push to extinguish the flames. No one had been injured as of that time.

Public warning sirens sounded in East Alkmaar causing concerns about the smoke cloud from burning rubber and plastics, but a police spokesman at the scene said that because of the intense heat, there was no danger to people from the smoke. “It burns clean,” he said. 

Helicopters were circling overhead using thermal imaging to monitor spread and hot points.  Police said that it could be put out by mid-afternoon, but would need to be kept wet and monitored for hours after.   The smoke cloud had recently dissipated at the time of this posting at 15h00.

RTV North Holland reported that the fire at the Derco building was let go into a controlled burn for hours to consume materials at the highest possible temperature to lower the risk of toxic fumes. The facility manufactures conveyor belts, and the cause of the fire was a machine malfunction. Several elderly residents were evacuated and some schools advised children to stay at home. 

Local news organizations were present at the police barrier near the fire.  Nearby residents watched out their windows, and students gathered outside on bicycles.  "I saw part of the factory explode from my bedroom window this morning," said Camille, 10, of Alkmaar. Folks around here will probably be talking about this event for a while.


  1. Welcome to Holland. Today's events have given you a taste of what to expect on New years Eve ;)

  2. Ah, my friend at the local bike shop has already warned me about New Year's around here. Can it be more than Paris or Orlando....? Matt