80 firefighters tackle blaze at rebuilt Kaiser’s palace in Berlin

80 firefighters tackle blaze at rebuilt Kaiser's palace in Berlin
An entrance at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin, where there was a fire, is sooted. One person was injured in the fire at the construction site. Photo: DPA
Fire broke out Wednesday at the central Berlin site where the German imperial family's palace is being reconstructed, but was quickly brought under control.

Around 80 firefighters responded to the call from the Humboldt Forum in the
rebuilt Stadtschloss palace just before 10 am, a spokesman for the Berlin fire service said.

The fire had broken out on an upper floor of the vast building in the capital's museum district.

Firefighters said construction materials and two tar kettles had caught fire, injuring one person who had to be treated by paramedics.

“Pictures of fire above the entrance to the palace sent shivers down all our spines,” junior minister for culture Monika Gruetters said in a statement.

One worker was slightly hurt by smoke inhalation, firefighters said.

“Everything is under control again,” the emergency responders posted on
Twitter.

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It was not immediately clear what started the blaze.The police assume that the fire was was an accident.

“According to the latest information…there is no evidence of premeditated action,” the police said in a tweet.

A fire commissioner's office of the state criminal police (LKA) has taken over the investigation of the cause.

Standing on the same site since the 15th century and home to Prussia's royal Hohenzollern family, the Stadtschloss was demolished by the communist East German government in 1950 after being damaged in World War II bombing.

Under construction since 2013, the new structure with reproduction facades
and a modern interior is slated to open in the autumn as a cultural and
research centre.

Reconstruction of the palace has itself been controversial, as it meant tearing down the “Palace of the Republic” that stood on the same spot until 2008.

Housing the East German parliament and a leisure centre including a bowling alley until reunification in 1990, the building was dear to many citizens of the former communist state.


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