Firefighters called to 160 false alarms in one home

Firefighters called to 160 false alarms in one home
Photo: DPA
Firefighters in Berlin are losing their cool after being called to a refugee home 160 times for no reason.

The fire service has received calls to the home in south Spandau, western Berlin, up to six times a day since the beginning of the year, the BZ newspaper reported on Tuesday.

But exactly who or what is causing the alarms to trip is not yet known.

According to the BZ, fire service reports state the incidents are due to a “technical fault”, but one firefighter suggested that the false alarms could be part of a targeted attack on the refugee house. 

The fire station and the “Arbeiterwohlfahrt” (AWO), the charitable association which set up the home, believe that children and young people may be behind the hoaxes, which have become more frequent over the past few months.

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Since November last year there have been as many as 160 false alarms from the refugee home and 45 since January.

“False alarms are a big problem for us,” spokesman for the Berlin fire service Jens-Peter Wilkes said. “They put human lives in danger. When we are called to a house unnecessarily, we may be unable to reach a real fire in time.”

The Spandau home offers accommodation to over 460 refugees from Bosnia, Serbia and Afghanistan. The AWO is drawing up a new fire safety plan. 

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