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Fire brigade still on site to extinguish embers: Roof truss of the old secondary school in Bad Honnef burns out completely

Fire brigade still on site to extinguish embers : Roof truss of the old secondary school in Bad Honnef burns out completely

A fire in the former secondary school building in Bad Honnef kept emergency services on their toes until late on Tuesday evening. The fire brigade was on site with a large contingent to get the situation under control.

A fire in the former secondary school building in Bad Honnef kept emergency services on their toes until late on Tuesday evening. The fire brigade was on site with a large contingent to get the situation under control. Police is investigating now.

A fire broke out in the building of the former St. Josef secondary school in Bismarckstraße in the centre of Bad Honnef on Tuesday evening. The fire brigade was on the scene with a large contingent of 140 fire fighters. In the morning, the fire brigade announced that the operation would probably not be completed until the morning. Forces are still on the scene and are tackling pockets of embers.

When they arrived, the flames were already leaping metres high from the roof. Burning parts kept coming loose and falling onto the street. The glow of the fire and the smoke could be seen from far away.

A good hour and a half after the alarm was raised, the firefighters had contained the flames to such an extent that the damage to the building was visible. Air measurements were also taken to rule out any danger to the population. However, there were no indications of any danger, according to information from the fire brigade. The Warnapp Nina was also activated because of the fire.

No information on the cause of the fire could be given yet. Investigations will be carried out in the coming days, as well as the question of how far the building, which stands directly on the street frontage, needs to be additionally secured. The operation was still ongoing at 9.30 pm on Tuesday evening. As of now, there are no injured persons.

Parts of the burning roof truss fell onto the street

The Bad Honnef volunteer fire brigade received the alarm at 7.33 pm. It quickly became clear that the number of fire fighters had to be increased. Only four minutes after the first alarm, the alarm level was raised, reported fire brigade spokesman Haupt at the scene. At that time, the flames were already leaping metres high out of the building. The fire had spread to two separate parts of the school, which had been empty since summer, making the fire brigade's work more difficult.

It was still unclear in the evening how the flames could have spread from one part of the building to the other. From turntable ladders, the firemen tried to gain access to the flames shooting out of the roof. They were supported by other firefighters who aimed water hoses at the burning roof from the ground.

The aim was to prevent the source of the fire from spreading to the surrounding buildings, especially the adjacent new building of the secondary and comprehensive school. The Bad Honnef fire brigade was supported by colleagues from Beuel and Königswinter.

It is estimated that the fire will keep the firefighters busy until well into the night. According to Bad Honnef fire brigade spokesman Björn Haupt, the top priority was to protect the neighbouring buildings in the centre of Bad Honnef, some of which were very close. Burning parts of the roof, which were giving way and falling onto the street from a height of about ten metres, repeatedly posed a danger. In order to exclude any danger to passers-by, the police cordoned off a wide area. Several roads in the vicinity were closed to keep onlookers away and to rule out any danger to themselves. The police are looking for witnesses.

Old building to be demolished

The old school building, which has been used for education for more than 100 years, is currently being demolished and has been empty since the summer. After the demolition work is completed, a new double gymnasium is to be built on the corner of Rommersdorfer Straße and Bismarckstraße.

Since then, the pupils of the archdiocesan secondary and comprehensive school have been taught in the newly built, modern school building next door, which the archdiocese had constructed for about 30 million Euro. Due to the enormous amount of water used, the fire-fighting work caused large puddles to form on the wooden floor of the new building. The water seeping in had to be swept out of the school building by firemen with brooms.

Original text: Claudia Sülzen and Jonas Dirker

Translation: Mareike Graepel