A fire broke out on the roof of a rental house in the Oude Polderstraat in Hulst on Thursday afternoon. No injuries were reported.
The fire raged in the roof under solar panels and was difficult to reach for the fire brigade. The fire was reported around 2.15 pm, after which the fire brigade started working with, among other things, extinguishing vehicles, a water truck and an aerial platform. The first effort was aimed at preventing the fire from spreading to the neighbor’s house. A number of solar panels were burned and some others had to be removed to extinguish the last burning remains in the roof. The adjacent home also sustained fire and water damage. The fire master signal was given around 3.50 pm.
In 2018 there was a blazing fire in a rented house in the same street, at the time also under solar panels. It is now a house in the same block.
Connector not connected properly
At the time, research by the Netherlands Research Institute showed that a connector between the panels was not properly connected, causing a short circuit and fire. The solar panels in the residential block were switched off to check everything first, after which the residents missed solar yields for months. They received financial compensation from Woonstichting Hulst for this.
Jurgen Pijcke, director of Woonstichting Hulst, is very shocked by the second fire in the same housing block. Just like last time, the solar panels in all 45 homes of exactly the same type in the street are now switched off and reconnected to the mains. Pijcke does not yet know how long that will take this time, but the residents will be compensated again this time. Pijcke cannot yet say whether there will be another major investigation. “All connectors were checked after the first fire and the doubtful cases replaced. Is a new investigation still useful? Do we have to replace? We are now going to be advised what we can do best now.”
There are 27 panels on each of the 45 houses; a total of 1215 panels. If the corporation replaces all panels as a precaution, it will be an expensive matter.