The fire is out. On tuesday morning only a skeleton stands where until monday afternoon there was still a sagewerk. Firefighters continue to keep watch. Some of the visibly exhausted emergency workers sit in front of the fenced-off scene. The fear is written on their faces. The night was long.
A few meters further on, the criminal investigation department begins its work. The officials had a first talk with the operators of the sage plant. A couple of senior citizens from the village are chatting about the huge cloud of smoke from the fire as they cycle past. Even though the fire has gone out, this event will leave its mark on the minds of the hofl readers.
"That was a fire like you never want to have again", looks back at markus koch, who was in charge of the fire department’s operations. "We’ve never had a fire in hofles this big before", he is convinced. But it wasn’t just the scale of the fire that posed a particular challenge for the local task forces. "It was a physical strain. And when something like this happens in your own village, it creates even more tension, he underlines. He himself had to wait until 2 o’clock in the morning for the first break – and only two hours later he was back at the scene of the fire again.
Koch was still finding it difficult on tuesday morning to precisely time the events of the fire. "At that moment, there was no sense of time, and no time to look at the clock. I was always spinning my wheels because of the command center." He is pleased that under these circumstances the cooperation with the THW, the police and the red cross worked excellently. One wheel fits perfectly into the other.
The tower was a source of danger
District fire chief joachim ranzenberger is proud of the work of the 200 or so firefighters and the 50 to 100 rescue workers from the german federal agency for technical relief (THW) and the red cross. Within about two hours, the firefighters had managed to get the fire under control and prevent it from spreading.
The attached residential building and a 30-meter-high tower with silos of the former grinding mill could thus have been saved from burning down. The tower and its imminent collapse had been a particular headache during the operation. "It was hard to get to, and we didn’t know how stable he was", ranzenberger recalls. "We had to expect it to fall down. At 30 meters no weed had grown where he had fallen down." But this szenarion had fortunately been prevented.
However, with such a narrow development as in hofles, it was also important to prevent the flames from spreading to neighboring buildings. That also worked out.
Review: on the evening of the fire
The smooth cooperation between the aid organizations also receives the praise of the district fire chief. The basis for this cooperation is good, flexible coordination; if necessary, there are briefings with all those responsible, in other cases the procedure is discussed directly at the scene, he explains.
How the fire started in the first place is being investigated by the coburg criminal investigation department. After their inspection of the fire site, "it is clear that the damage caused amounts to approximately four million euros, the police announced on tuesday afternoon. This sum is attributed to the destroyed hall and the machines inside it.
According to the current state of the investigation, the fire may have broken out due to a technical defect in a sage. According to the fire investigators, there is no evidence of deliberate or negligent action.
Dispute on the internet
The mayor of kronach, wolfgang beiergroblein (), quickly becomes clear when he is asked about a discussion that develops on facebook in the course of the fire operation. From his point of view, words were spoken there that are nothing other than a commonality.
City council member hans-georg simon () has questioned on the net the printout of chief fire officer and firefighter stefan wicklein on the gross fire in hofles during the city council meeting. "When you have such important tasks, you have to decide what is more important", he joked and added: "perhaps it would be more sensible for the city of kronach to appoint another person as the head of the fire department?"
For wolfgang beiergroblein this is more than just out of tone. It is mean to question the commitment of volunteers who protect their fellow human beings in this way. Even more so when a city council member allows himself to be driven to such excuses. After all, the fire department is a compulsory task of the city. "That’s why we’re glad to have such forces in our ranks", underlines the mayor. And finally, each company also releases its personnel. So why should the city choose to stay out of the tournament??
Stefan wicklein also responds via facebook without mincing his words. "Simply primitive and pitiful", he finds simon’s revisions. Especially since the latter, on the other hand, "unctuously praises the honorary office and the fire departments". Wicklein doesn’t understand why the city should be happy for every active player who is released from work in the event of an incident, but why it shouldn’t allow drivers to be deployed. Beiergroblein agrees with that. And he recalls that the mayor and other representatives of the administration were present and quite capable of continuing the meeting even without the head of the administration.