Massive fire at business in Amsterdam’s port area; Smoke cloud moving toward Zaandam

A large fire broke out at a company on Ankerweg in the Westelijk Havengebied of Amsterdam early Friday morning. Firefighters have been working for hours to get the blaze under control. The fire department urged locals to stay out of the smoke, which was moving north toward Zaandam.

The emergency services received the first report of the fire just after 5:00 a.m. The fire department escalated the situation to “large fire” and then “very large fire” within 20 minutes. Firefighters from various barracks around the city and two ambulances responded to the scene. As far as is known, no one got hurt.

At around 8:23 a.m., the situation escalated to a GRIP 1, which means that all the emergency services involved will work under a single commander. A GRIP 1 is declared when an emergency affects a larger area and requires multiple emergency services to work together.

The fire is at a company that supplies potting soil mixtures and raw materials, according to Amsterdam broadcaster AT5. “It is a very large warehouse with a lot of stuff; it is very difficult to extinguish such a fire,” a spokesperson for the fire brigade told the broadcaster. “We will certainly be working for hours.” The warehouse is several dozens of meters long and wide.

Firefighters are working to keep the flames contained and prevent them from spreading to other businesses. “It has been successful so far. That gives me the confidence that it will stay that way and we will succeed. But, of course, you never know how a fire will develop,” the fire brigade spokesperson told AT5.

The fire department is taking measures in the area to see if harmful substances are in the smoke. So far, that is not the case. But the department still urges locals to stay out of the smoke. Keep your windows and doors closed and switch off the ventilation.

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