On the night of 1 July, a major fire broke out in the village centre of Zweisimmen. A residential and commercial building and an apartment building burnt out completely. Another building was severely damaged. The police began investigations into the cause of the fire.
On Thursday, 1 July, at 2.25am, the Bern Cantonal Police Operations Centre received a report of a fire on Schützenstrasse in Zweisimmen. When the fire brigade arrived on the scene, the fire had already spread to surrounding residential and commercial buildings as well as to a block of flats.
The 90 members of the Zweisimmen, Boltigen, St. Stephan, Saanen and Spiez fire brigades managed to bring the blaze under control and prevent it from spreading further.
An apartment building and a residential and commercial building on Schützenstrasse burnt out completely. A residential and commercial building on Simmengasse was also severely damaged and is uninhabitable. The fire-fighting operations posed great difficulties because, among other things, parts of the roofs had to be removed to detect possible pockets of embers. The fire brigades set up a fire watch afterwards. Some of the 20 residents of the 13 affected flats could leave the buildings on their own. Others had to be evacuated by the fire brigade with an aerial ladder over the respective balconies due to the strong formation of smoke.
One firefighter had to be taken to hospital for a check-up due to suspected smoke poisoning but could leave in the meantime.
Eleven paramedics, two Samaritans, the Care Team of the canton of Bern, representatives of the municipality of Zweisimmen and several services and patrols of the Canton of Bern Police were also on the scene.
Alternative accommodation was found for the residents with the support of the municipality. The Bern Cantonal Police have started an investigation into the cause of the fire and the extent of the damage.
BASED ON AVS/SOPHIA GRASSER