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Fire after explosion in Grunewald

  • Feuer in Grunewald

    Smoke rises during a fire in Grunewald.

  • Feuer im Grunewald (2)

    Police officers clean ash and dust from a water cannon after the operation at the fire site in Grunewald.

  • Waldbrand im Grunewald (1)

    Franziska Giffey (l), Governing Mayor of Berlin, and Senator of the Interior Iris Spranger (both SPD), answer questions from journalists after obtaining on-site information from the fire brigade and police about the scene of the fire in Grunewald.

  • Waldbrand im Grunewald (2)

    Dark columns of smoke rise into the sky above the Avus at the Hüttenweg exit. Due to a forest fire in Grunewald, which according to the police was started at the blasting site, railway lines and motorways are closed in the immediate vicinity.

  • Feuer im Grunewald (1)

    Firefighters prepare for their mission at the fire site.

  • Brand im Berliner Grunewald

    A police water cannon on its way to the scene.

  • Feuer in Grunewald (2)

    Smoke rises in Berlin's Grunewald forest.

A fire broke out in Berlin's Grunewald forest on Thursday morning after an accidental explosion at the blasting site there, setting the adjacent forest on fire.

The fire spread, according to the fire department on Thursday. Further explosions occurred again and again. In the morning, an area of one and a half hectares was affected. In the afternoon, it was said that an area of about 50 hectares was affected. "They're not all completely on fire, some of them are just smoky," fire department spokesman Thomas Kirstein announced late Thursday afternoon. But the area had expanded significantly since the early morning hours, he said. "We're in good spirits now, though," Kirstein said. "We have an independent firefighting supply that will put us massively ahead in the evening hours today."

Road closures: Avus, Havelchaussee, Königsallee and others

Kronprinzessinnenweg, Havelchaussee, Onkel-Tom-Strasse, Hüttenweg, Koenigsallee and Avus to the Zehlendorf intersection are closed in this area. The closures are expected to last at least until Friday morning, according to the Berlin Traffic Information Center (VIZ). Residents should keep windows and doors closed. Ventilation and air conditioning systems should be switched off.

Interruption of rail traffic

Due to the fire in Berlin's Grunewald forest, regional and S-Bahn services to the west are disrupted. The S-Bahn line S7 is only running from Berlin to Grunewald, a railway spokesperson said. In regional traffic, the RE1 and RE7 lines as well as the RB21 and RB22 lines between Berlin-Wannsee and Berlin-Friedrichstraße are interrupted. Passengers can still get to Potsdam with the S1. According to Deutsche Bahn, long-distance services were also disrupted between the main station and Potsdam. Affected trains are being diverted and do not stop in Wannsee and Potsdam. The disruptions in local and long-distance traffic are initially planned until Friday morning.

Residential areas not in danger

Residential areas in Grunewald are not in danger, according to the fire brigade. "We will prevent that," said a spokesperson. The nearest residential buildings are at least two kilometres away. Traffic infrastructure was also not affected. There have been no injuries so far. However, Berliners should avoid the area as far as possible. It is assumed that the high dryness in the area will influence the further course of the fire, it said. The heat on Thursday was particularly hard on the emergency services.

"Enormous danger" from explosions: Support by Bundeswehr

The Bundeswehr is supporting the Berlin Fire Brigade in fighting the fire. Initially, the task forces retreated to 1000 meters and irrigated the adjacent forest areas. This was intended to make it more difficult for the flames to spread. Water cannons and clearing tanks arrived on the scene. There is still an "enormous danger" for the emergency forces due to explosions and flying debris, a fire department spokesman told broadcaster NTV. Explosions occurred again in the early evening. The detonations had been noticed while a special robot of the Bundeswehr was supposed to explore the blast site. The operation was therefore aborted. Afterwards, there were still several detonations. The black clouds of smoke over Berlin were visible from afar.

Fire Brigade begins firefighting operations inside the perimeter of the blast site

The Fire Brigade began firefighting operations inside the perimeter around the blast site in Grunewald in the early evening. Fire department spokesman Thomas Kirstein said late Thursday afternoon. "The exclusion zone of 1,000 meters remains in place. But it is possible that we as Fire Brigade can now operate in certain areas down to 500 meters," Kirstein said. "That means the firefighting work has already started in some areas." The firefighting water had already been provided in advance, he said. Responders have been on the scene for more than 12 hours, he said. "They are now being rotated out for the evening," Kirstein said. "The night shift will come in fresh. We expect to be here at least into the late evening hours, if not all night."

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 4 August 2022
Last updated: 5 August 2022

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