Fires in Chartres city center: your questions, our answers

Four accidental fires in three months in the city center of Chartres. A series that challenges, especially our readers on social networks. Here are their questions and the answers we can give them.

The law of series?

(July 26, 2021: “It’s the 4th fire in a short time!”)

Since April, four fires have broken out in businesses in Chartres city center:

  • April 12, in the pharmacy place des Épars;
  • May 2, in an apartment above the Boulangerie de Marlène, place des Halles;
  • May 22, in an apartment above the Maryvonne boutique, rue des Changes;
  • July 26 in the kitchen of the bar Les Voisins, place Marceau.

A fire breaks out in a bar in downtown Chartres

Arson?

(May 22, 2021: “And 3 … It’s hot all the same, isn’t it?” “Yes, it’s repeatedly getting weird, it’s more accidental.” “Phew, too weird” )

(May 2, 2021: “Courage to all. One question, it seems strange to me two businesses, two fires in a short time? Is there a criminal act behind?”)

The hypothesis of an arsonist is ruled out by the police. Since April 2021, investigators have observed two fires in apartments located above a bakery and a ready-to-wear store, then two other accidental fires in the kitchen of a bar and the restaurant. reserve of a pharmacy.

A tart burnt at a neighbor’s house is believed to be the cause of the fire at La boulangerie de Marlène in Chartres

How to explain these disasters?

(May 2, 2021: “No doubt a coincidence. You will tell me, never two without three. In this case we can start talking about the law of series. It is always delicate a fire in the old town.” “Conspiracy theory . Well say so. These are buildings that are more than 200 years old, in wood, with dilapidated electrical systems. “)

Buildings in the historic area were designed with beams. Wiring and electrical panels seem, today, unsuited to modern life, according to Alain Contrepois, city councilor responsible for safety, hygiene and cleanliness of establishments open to the public (ERP) in Chartres: “We must review the terms of our controls. “The elected representative cites a concrete example:” Old electrical installations do not support the power of modern equipment. Today, a “yellow” type power is needed to absorb this overload, avoiding short circuits and fires. “

Fire in the city center of Chartres: the disaster under control and the intervention completed

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How to prevent these disasters?

On the side of the firefighters, we also take these various fires very seriously. Colonel Jean-François Gouy, head of the Eure-et-Loir Fire and Rescue Service (Sdis 28) confides: “We note the massive presence of wooden structures, including beams. We are therefore committing a lot of resources for a massive fire attack. “

Vehicles adapted for interventions in the city center have been acquired for this purpose. The colonel addresses a difficulty: “The wooden frames are not always visible, which complicates our interventions. “Lieutenant David Boutoille adds:” There is not always isolation between the houses. Sometimes the beams extend onto the neighbor’s wall. The fire can burn itself out and spread further and up the floors. “

2020: an atypical year for the firefighters of Eure-et-Loir

With the flames extinguished, the firefighters then proceed to strip the frameworks to ensure that the fire does not smolder. The last phase consists in securing the weakened building, by the installation of several props, mission of the rescue and clearing unit. What was done for the bakery, pharmacy and bar. “The role of first responders is essential. Everything is decided at that moment, the choice of the points of attack, the location of the ladders, the water points… ”The helpers carry out rounds a few hours after their departure.

Thierry delaunay
thierry.delaunay@centrefrance.com

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