A man living in the French town of Lille prevented an apartment fire in Belgium while on a video call with a Brussels resident who passed out from the smoke of a burning casserole, according to reports on Wednesday.
While on a video call on Tuesday, the Brussels resident passed out and fell off his chair, after which the Frenchman noticed the smoke in the apartment and called the fire brigade via the French 112 emergency number.
The French emergency services notified the Brussels fire brigade in turn.
Firefighters arrived at the apartment in Brussels’ Avenue de l’Orée at around 10:40 PM and were able to rapidly put the fire out, according to Het Laatste Nieuws.
“The collaboration was quick, a fire brigade and an ambulance were immediately sent,” Walter Derieuw, spokesperson for the Brussels fire department told the outlet.
The firefighters discovered that the smoke came from a burning cooking pot they found on the stove.
“There was mainly smoke damage,” he added, adding that the apartment’s resident was given oxygen immediately and then taken to the hospital.
The cross-border intervention stems from a year-old partnership between 11 European emergency services through the 112 number, the spokesperson said.
“If a Belgian tourist is in trouble in Denmark, for example, but does not speak English, the Copenhagen 112 can connect the person to (…) Brussels,” he said, adding that it worked both ways.
The Brussels Times