Fire at the Park Restaurant Rheinaue Burn victim found several hours after the fire

Bonn · A seriously injured man was found in nearby bushes more than three hours after a fire at the Park Restaurant Rheinaue in Bonn. The fire was discovered Thursday morning at around 4 a.m. by residents in the area.

 Police cordoned off the beer garden of the Restaurant Rheinaue following the fire.

Police cordoned off the beer garden of the Restaurant Rheinaue following the fire.

Foto: Axel Vogel

Several hours after a fire broke out at the Park Restaurant Rheinaue beer garden early Thursday morning, a restaurant employee discovered a man with severe burns. He was found in some nearby bushes. Residents in the area noticed the fire just after 4 a.m. The authorities were alerted and 30 firefighters were dispatched to the scene. It was not until 7:30 a.m. when the injured the man was found.

A rescue helicopter was called in to bring the man to a special clinic for burn victims. According to a firefighter who provided first aid on the scene, the man was responsive, but not able to answer any questions. The seriously injured man had not yet been identified and it was not clear if or how he may have been connected to the fire. Police are investigating for any possible links.

The situation became more dangerous for firefighters when they noticed several CO2 and propane gas cylinders in the wooden pavilion, which had been used as a bar. The cylinders were recovered and cooled in time to prevent them from exploding. A defective hydrant also posed challenges, meaning a water supply line had to be established over some distance and an additional 6,000 liters hauled in by truck. It took two hours for firefighters to get the blaze extinguished.

Dirk Dötsch has been the proprietor and leaseholder of the restaurant since the year 2000. Police called to inform him about the fire in the early morning hours. As he watched the firefighters working to put out the flames in the night, he told the GA that he would not let it bring him down. He was grateful that the sun umbrellas, benches and tables appeared undamaged at first sight.

Dötsch had just started the regular summer concert series in the beer garden a week ago. For him the outdoor dining possibility brought "great hope after corona". Even as firefighters were still tackling the blaze, he was considering his alternatives and planned to open the beer garden on an adjacent lawn: "As long as I have tables and chairs and a surface, I can go on". Despite the fire, the summer festival will continue. "A break would only make the anxious guests even more insecure," says Dötsch. The fire did not spread to the building that houses the restaurant and terrace, so business can continue there as normal.

Starting Friday, a "pop-up beer garden" will open next to the restaurant.The concert on Friday evening will take place there as planned, with a view of the Siebengebirge. The only thing that will be different the first days is the food. "We will initially only be able to offer a light menu. I think the visitors will forgive us if there is only pizza and bockwurst for a few days", says Dötsch. Despite all the circumstances, the managing director remains optimistic: "We won't let it get us down. What corona hasn't achieved, no unexplained fire can either."

(Orig. text: Anja Wollschlaeger, Nathalie Dreschke / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)

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