Fire damages building housing Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The entrance to the Philharmonie.
Image: Eisenacher.

At least 170 firefighters in Berlin, Germany battled a fire on Tuesday at the Berliner Philharmonie, the building that is home to the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra.

The fire broke out around 2:00 p.m. local time, while the orchestra was rehearsing, but all the members of the audience and orchestra made it out of the building without injury. Much of the instruments were also saved before the fire grew out of control.


Firefighters had to take off large portions of the metal roof in order to battle the blaze which took almost five hours to bring under control and burned for almost 12. It is believed that welding on the roof may have caused the fire to start, but an investigation is ongoing.

Officials have yet to determine the total extent of the damage, but do say that nearly 17,000 square feet of the roof is burned.

The building, designed by Hans Scharoun, was built in 1963 to replace the previous concert hall which was destroyed in 1944 during World War II. The orchestra was first formed by 54 individuals in 1882.

All future concerts that have been scheduled to take place at the Philharmonie are canceled until further notice.


Sources

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