fire berlin
© Twitter - Berliner FeuerwehrA fire in a paper waste warehouse on Lahnstrasse in Neukölln sent black clouds billowing into the sky above Berlin.
Even those who missed the giant plumes of black smoke billowing up into the the Berlin sky might have been alerted to the fire that broke out in a paper waste warehouse on Lahnstrasse in Neukölln yesterday by a frantic beeping coming from their smartphone: the fire brigade sent an official warning yesterday evening, about an hour after the start of the blaze. It's not yet clear what caused the fire, but this was a major operation.

A 6,000 square meter warehouse storing large quantities of extremely flammable material (paper, to be precise) caught fire on the premises of the Remondis disposal company on Lahnstrasse. The building was entirely destroyed. Firefighters are still on site and are expecting to carry out post-extinguishing work until noon on Thursday.

On twitter, many Berliners replied to the fire departments official tweet of the incident with their own views of the fire as seen from around the city: the black clouds could be seen rising up over the horizon from all across the city. What made the fire particularly difficult to tackle for the fire brigade was the fact that it quickly threatened to burn through the steel structure, compromising the integrity of the warehouse itself. For that reason, fire fighters mainly needed to work from outside, assisted by a drone team with thermal imagery cameras.

Despite the warning issued to Berliners via the Nina app, which advised resident to close their windows and shut off air conditioning and ventilation systems, measurements later taken at the scene indicated no significant danger of toxic fumes. However, the official hazard warning remained in place until early Thursday morning.