Historical Building collapses in the middle of the night

Category: International Firefighting Team of the Year

Fire department: Sapeurs-Pompiers de Romans, France

France FR France

On the 21 of June 2016 a woman alarmed the fire brigade of Romans in the middle of the night. The expectant mother had an anxiety attack when she spotted cracks in the walls of her flat. Her apartment was located in the historical center of Romans. The buildings there are mainly 3 to 4 floors high, located in clusters and can only be reached by narrow roads.

Three firemen and an ambulance disengaged to the emergency call. After arriving at the named house they got in contact with the pregnant woman. During the first-aid check up the firemen noticed some successive slight cracks coming from the houses structure. Immediately the complete house was evacuated. After waking all the sleeping residents they could leave the house unscathed. When the firemen left the building with the last residents tiles were already falling from the roof to the street.

Right at the moment when they entered the adjacent house for shelter a crack tore up the building. Everything collapsed in front of them with immense noise. After that, dust was everywhere and the firemen lost touch of each other. After a few minutes the dust settled. The firemen were not injured but the building was reduced to rubble. One man covered in dust was sitting with his dog in the leftovers of the roof. Some people have been buried beneath the ruins of the house. The firemen took charge of them and informed the reinforcement. They organized the rescue of the people buried under the rubble. One victim was reported.