Smoke from the fire (Photo: VNA)

Berlin (VNA) – A fire that burnt down a warehouse at the Vietnamese Dong Xuan Centre in eastern Berlin, Germany, was extinguished after five hours.

Spokesman of the Berlin fire department Frederic Finner said the blaze resulted in no casualties, adding that authorities are working to find out how it started.

Talking to the Vietnam News Agency, Nguyen Van Hien, Chairman and CEO of the shopping centre, suspected the fire might have been caused by the carelessness of renters of the warehouse during their cleaning work outside.

He stressed fire safety is a top priority at the market via daily examinations, noting that some people working here don’t follow safety regulations.

Hien said there were no casualties and reported asset damage was low, but the case is a wake-up call for shop owners and workers.

Representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy in Berlin went to the scene to keep track of the event and to support the market’s board of directors.  

Ambassador Nguyen Minh Vu said the embassy will continue working with German agencies and the market during the investigation of the case.

The local rescue service reportedly received a call about the fire at about 12:00 on July 4 (local time). Some 50 fine engines and 200 firefighters were deployed to control the blaze.

In May 2016, a warehouse fire also took place at areas managed by Indian businesses at the market.

Established in 2003 by Hien, the 18ha Dong Xuan Centre is the biggest Vietnamese trading hub in Germany, gathering thousands of businessmen including Vietnamese, Pakistani and Chinese expatriates.

In an incomplete survey, the Vietnamese population in Germany amounts to some 176,000, of which about 40,000 live in Berlin.-VNA