The search for the elderly man who has been missing in Harelbeke since Wednesday’s serious fire has yielded results. The lifeless body was found on Thursday afternoon among the rubble of the warehouse with historic army vehicles that went up in flames on Wednesday. “We would like to express our condolences to the relatives of the victim,” says Mayor Alain Top (Vooruit).
The victim is a retired man and friend of the owner of the warehouse who had been reported missing since the fire. They had been looking for it all day. Civil protection deployed a crane and a drone on Thursday to support the search.
A search that had to be done step by step because the fire brigade, civil protection and the police – who also helped – had to take into account the fact that the victim was hidden somewhere in the rubble. (Read more below the photo)
Not much can yet be said about the precise circumstances in which the victim was found. It is clear that the man was found in the warehouse behind the Brands Only clothing store, where old army equipment was stored.
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Condolences from the city
“It is with deep sadness that the local government of Harelbeke confirms that a victim has been found in the aftermath of the tragic fire that raged on Wednesday. The hope that it would remain just material damage has proven to be vain,” is Mayor Alain Top’s comment on the latest development. “The city council of Harelbeke expresses its sincere condolences to the family and friends of the victim.”
In total, approximately 120 firefighters from Fluvia, 50 police officers from the Gavers police zone and Mira police zone, and 15 civil protection employees provided support in this fire. (Read more below the photo)
In the meantime, all 35 evacuated residents from Evangeliestraat returned home on Wednesday evening. “The measurements taken by the fire brigade in the homes showed that no toxic substances had entered the home,” said the mayor.