Fire sweeps through popular Rotterdam gay and drag bar; Cause under investigation

A large fire broke out at the gay and drag bar Bonaparte in Rotterdam-West on Thursday afternoon. Paramedics checked two people at the scene for smoke inhalation, Rijnmond Veilig, the information office for the Rijnmond emergency services, reported. There were no other injuries.

The fire broke at the bar on Nieuwe Binnenweg broke out at around 1:15 p.m. The fire department responded with multiple units and quickly searched the building.

Firefighters were confident that no one was stuck inside the four-story building. At around 2:00 p.m., Rijnmond Veilig reported that the fire department was doing “demolition work” in the building, likely breaking down structures to get to the fire more easily or to give it less fuel to consume. Thick brown smoke could be seen coming from the building.

The fire also affected public transport services on Thursday afternoon. Tram 4 was partially rerouted using the tracks for Tram 8. According to RET, Tram 4 was not going to stop at Claes de Vrieselaan, Fravendijkwal, Mathenesserlaan, and Bloemkwekerstraat in either direction until the fire department completed their work.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. The authorities are investigating.

Since the start of the year, there have been over 60 incidents where homes and businesses in Rotterdam were targeted by fire bombings, explosions, or gunfire. The police have arrested around 50 suspects in connection with these attacks.

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