A fire broke out on Saturday morning at a school in the municipality of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre in Brussels, causing significant damage to the building. The fire was extinguished by emergency services shortly before 11:00, according to the Brussels Fire Brigade. No one was injured as a result of the fire.
Notre-Dame des Grâces primary school and kindergarten, located on avenue du Chant d’oiseau, is home to 641 pupils from the surrounding area. Around half of the school was significantly affected by the fire.
“The fire is of accidental origin and smouldered all night before running into a real fire this morning,” said Walter Derieuw, spokesman for the Brussels Fire Brigade. “It was a passerby who warned us around 09:30. We went to the site with three trucks and three self-ladders. The fire has since been completely extinguished and the building is currently being ventilated.”
Mayor of the Woluwe-Saint-Pierre commune, Benoît Cerexhe, visited the school on Saturday to assess the extent of the damage.
“The school is divided into two wings, one of which is adjacent to the Notre-Dame des Grâces church,” said Arnaud Despiegelaere, spokesperson for the mayor. “It was in this wing that the fire raged, precisely in the multipurpose room. The room was badly damaged by the fire, and damage was also caused by soot and smoke in the refectory and the upper floor classrooms.”
The school had planned to organise a fayre with shows and entertainment on Saturday and Sunday, which will now be postponed. The school is still taking stock of the damage done to the building and its school supplies. According to the mayor, the school is taking stock of the damages and will close for several days to clean up and make repairs.
“The responsible authorities, in close collaboration with the municipality, are looking for solutions to ensure the continuity of children’s learning during this period,” the mayor said in a press release.
Avenue du Chant d'oiseau has now reopened to road traffic.