- 150 firefighters battle blaze at the Holland Casino
- Hotel guests and residents evacuated on Sunday morning
A land-based casino in Groningen, Netherlands, was entirely destroyed by fire on Sunday, in a blaze that took fire crews over eight hours to bring under control.
Firefighters attended the fire at 7.02 on Sunday morning in response to an automated fire alarm but were still unable to get the casino fire under control three hours later, when they were joined by crews from the nearby Drenthe Dire Department.
It took 150 fire-fighters, 16 fire trucks and 5 platforms to put out the blaze, which was not fully extinguished until 3:30 pm.
Guest of the hotel opposite the casino, along with other local residents, were evacuated on Sunday morning, but the blaze did not spread and residents were able to return to their properties at 3:15 pm.
Nobody sustained any serious injuries in the blaze although one person received treatment for smoke inhalation.
The Mayor of Groningen, Peter den Oudsten, said that he was relieved that the fire did not spread to other properties in the city center, including a number of buildings of historical interest, and he praised the emergency service for their prompt and effective response.
The building itself is believed to be beyond repair, and a number of cars that had been parked in the casino’s garage have been lost.
According to the chairman of the Holland Casino Doard, it was too early to say how much money was in the casino’s safe and slot machines, but pointed out that Saturday nights were the casino’s busiest time.
He said that he was terribly shocked by the incident, describing it as a ‘black page’ in the casino’s history, and was unable to say when the casino would be able to re-open in a different location. The cause of the fire has not yet been established.
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