|The scene of the fire at the Đồng Xuân Plaza in Berlin. — VNA/VNS Photo|
BERLIN — A blaze broke out at a 5,000sq.m warehouse at the Đồng Xuân Plaza – a Vietnamese market in Berlin, Germany – on Thursday, with smoke seen from several kilometres away.
The local rescue service reportedly received a call about the fire at around 12:00 (local time), thus 5pm Hà Nội time.
About 50 fine engines and 200 firefighters were deployed to the site to control the blaze.
According to preliminary information, the fire started at one of several containers placed next to a large warehouse which contains footwear, cosmetics, apparel, and chemical products.
The warehouse was burned down without any casualties. The main shopping area nearby was not affected by the fire.
Soon after the fire broke out, traffic in the vicinity of the blaze was restricted, while surrounding residents were recommended to keep their windows shut.
Frederic Finner, spokesman for the Berlin fire brigade, said no casualties were reported and the cause of the fire was under investigation.
Speaking to Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent in Berlin, Nguyễn Văn Hiền, general director of the Đồng Xuân Plaza, said the fire could have been caused by several small traders. They were careless while treating rubbish which likely caused the fire.
Hiền added the plaza prioritises fire prevention and control. It assigned guards to patrol and give warnings to small traders, however, awareness on the issue was still lacking.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Nguyễn Minh Vũ said the embassy would collaborate with the plaza and the Berlin police to investigate the case, and help the small traders affected by the incident.
In May 2016, another fire also occurred at the Đồng Xuân Plaza in stores owned by Indian traders. Several Vietnamese people suffered significant losses because they put their goods in the Indian stores.
The Đồng Xuân Plaza was founded in 2003 by Hiền. It is the biggest plaza of Vietnamese people in Germany. Thousands of people sell goods here, most of them are Vietnamese, and others are from India, Pakistan and China.
Rough estimates show that about 176,000 Vietnamese people live in Germany. About 40,000 of them are living in Berlin, Vietnam News Agency reported. — VNS