Firefighters in Belgium hold minute's silence to honour fallen colleagues

Firefighters in Belgium hold minute's silence to honour fallen colleagues
Firefighters stand in the rubble of an empty building which caught fire in a separate incident in Limburg in August. Credit: © Belga

Ceremonies to honour two firefighters who perished in a blaze at the weekend were held on Monday, with fire departments across Belgium holding a minute's silence in memory of their fallen colleagues.

Members of the Bruges fire department gathered in front of the station at 11:00 AM, standing in silence for one minute as the station's Belgian flag flew at half-mast in the background, according to HLN.

The firefighters were honouring two volunteer members of the Limburg fire department, whose bodies were discovered among the rubble of a major blaze which broke out in an empty building in Beringen, Limburg, on Sunday.

During the intervention, firefighters were urged to evacuate the burning building after flammable gas was discovered inside, but two among them never made it out before it collapsed.

Three others were slightly wounded and a fourth one was admitted to the hospital with serious injuries.

"These were two volunteers, two young fathers,” Commander Bert Swijsen of the Limburg department said at the time of the events. "It’s hard to come to terms with the fact they are no longer with us," he added.

Firefighters in Brussels will hold a similar ceremony at 15:00 to show solidarity with their colleagues, according to reports by BX1.

"Brussels firefighters are terribly saddened by the tragedy of our comrades in [Limburg]. The events highlight the risks that firefighters face each time they set out to protect their fellow citizens," Walter Derieuw, spokesperson for the fire department told the outlet.

Additional tributes were paid by the Antwerp fire brigade, who took to Twitter to express solidarity with those affected by the terrible news.

An inquest will determine the causes of the fire, with authorities saying that all possibilities, including arson, were being studied, according to De Morgen.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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