News

Frequently asked questions about the Wouwermanstraat fire

Published: 22 May 2021Modified: 8 June 2021

In the early morning of 20 May the fire department was alerted to a fire in a home in the Wouwermanstraat. The fire in the Schilderswijk quickly spread to nearby homes and the El Fath mosque in the same block of houses. Around noon on 20 May the fire department had the fire under control. The municipality has made an overview of questions and answers about the fire.

  • Around 3.00 hrs. in the early morning of Thursday, 20 May the fire department was alerted to a fire in a home in the Wouwermanstraat. The fire in the Schilderswijk quickly spread to nearby homes and the El Fath mosque in the same block of houses. On Thursday afternoon approximately 50 residents were brought to a shelter.

    Around noon the fire department announced that it had the fire under control. It still had to continue to work to extinguish all the flames. It now appears that in the block of houses on the Wouwermanstraat there are 23 homes, a physiotherapy practice and a mosque which can no longer be lived in or used.

  • The fire department and police have conducted a thorough investigation into the cause of the fire. They hope to be able to share their preliminary findings quickly.

    The residents of the 23 homes on the Wouwermanstraat will not be able to return until the investigation has been completed.

  • There were no injuries or deaths as far as emergency service personnel and the municipality know. Several birds, fish and a cat unfortunately perished in the fire. 2 cats were taken by the Dierenambulance.
  • A number of people have found temporary housing themselves. For people who were not able to arrange accommodation themselves the municipality has provided shelter in a hotel. On Wednesday, 26 May all of the people affected had found alternative living space or had temporary shelter through the municipality in guest lodgings. These are available until 1 July 2021.
  • You can report damage to your insurance company or Stichting Salvage on the national telephone number (088) 404 02 00. If you have questions you can also go to the info point in ‘Het Talentenhuis’ at Ferdinand Bolstraat 33.
  • Wouwermanstraat numbers 59 to 89 have been declared uninhabitable. The mosque is part of this block. The building condition of the other homes still needs to be further investigated. Residents of the Joris van der Haagenstraat were able to return to their homes on Thursday evening, 20 May.
  • This fire has been a horrible blow to the mosque and all patrons of the mosque. The municipality is looking together with the El Fath mosque into alternative space for both the Friday prayer service and the other activities at the mosque (such as tutoring).
  • The Municipality of The Hague has hired an external company which will oversee how the people affected can pick up their possessions. It will confer with authorities to see when and whether the home can be entered. As of Friday, 28 May residents will be able to visit their home under the guidance of damage experts if it is deemed safe enough for this.

    Since Thursday evening, 20 May all homes are being guarded 24 hours a day. They have been fenced off and broken windows and doors on the ground floor have been boarded up.

  • Owners are responsible for making sure their home is good and safe, even when they are renting out an apartment or rooms. For independent advice on the maintenance or renovation of your home, you can contact 'Hou van je huis' at the Municipality of The Hague.

    Homeowners association

    As a member of the homeowners association (Vereniging van Eigenaren, VvE) you and the other members of the VvE are obliged to save money for the maintenance of the building. The VVE is also responsible for the maintenance, repair and (fire) safety of communal parts such as roofs and pipes. Do you need help? ‘Hou van je huis’ provides advice and tips. Make an appointment using the Contact form.

    Staff at 'Hou van je huis' are available Monday from 13.00 to 17.00 hrs. and Tuesday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs. via:

    • telephone number (070) 353 99 31 and (070) 353 32 81
    • the contact form
  • Tenants can check if there are smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in the apartment and test them to make sure they are working. Smoke detectors are required in new buildings and also for room rentals. There are no smoke detectors? You can ask the owner and/or landlord to place smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in the apartment. You are also allowed to place them yourself.

    Report overdue maintenance

    Homes must meet certain requirements in order to be considered liveable. Do you have a rental home which needs repairs or maintenance? Report the overdue maintenance or anything else that is wrong to the owner and/or landlord of the property in writing. If it is clear that the owner does not want to solve the problems (on time) then you can report this to the municipality through the page report overdue maintenance. Or call the municipality on telephone number 14070.

    Report domestic nuisance and overcrowding

    Are you bothered by your neighbours or is the home overcrowded or being sublet illegally? Let your neighbours know that you are experiencing nuisance. Sometimes residents are not aware they are causing nuisance. Are you afraid to do this or are you still experiencing nuisance? Report this to the Domestic Nuisance Complaints Centre (Meld- en Steunpunt Woonoverlast) at the municipality.

    You can also report a case of unlawful overcrowding if you suspect that there are too many people living in a property. Or if you think there are people living there who should not be living there. For example, if rooms are being (sub)let against the rules or if people are living in an office building or garden house.

    You can report unlawful overcrowding to the municipality through the website or call the municipality on telephone number 14070.

    Are you bothered by noise or is a property being used for trade or a catering establishment (with many people walking in and out)? You can also report this to the municipality through the page Report domestic nuisance or call the municipality via telephone number 14070.

Contact

  • Residents with questions about any loss or damage can speak to Stichting Salvage or contact their own insurance company. You can call Stichting Salvage on tel. (088) 404 02 00.
  • The municipality has an info point in the Talentenhuis, Ferdinand Bolstraat 33. As of 2 June 2021 the info point will continue as a helpline. You can call the info point Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 18.00 hrs. on telephone number 06 - 31 10 11 07.
  • You can also ask your questions at the Centrum city district office by sending an email to: centrum@denhaag.nl.

  • People who are worried about their home can contact the Domestic Nuisance Complaints Centre.
  • For information or to donate money or items to the victims of the fire go to Facebook page of De Paraplu: www.facebook.com/Bewonersorganisatie.