Some young people had already nestled to their sleeping bags on Friday night, when they were woken up suddenly: Someone had smelled smoke in hall 14, the fire brigade had been alerted. They gave the instruction to evacuate the hall immediately. But the matter cleared up quickly ...
Seven halls on the exhibition grounds have been converted into youth camps to serve as accommodation facility for the International Youth Convention. Young people and helpers can stay here overnight. In one of the halls, a sudden fire brigade operation was triggered on Friday night: Some IYC participants had smelled smoke in the hall and they informed the IYC control centre. Holger Pinske, head of the control centre, alerted the fire brigade. "They were on the fairgrounds anyway, helping at an event in a neighbour hall, thus they were arriving quickly," said Pinske.
The overnight guests left the hall quickly and kept calm. This enabled the fire brigade to examine the premises, searching for possible sources of fire and smoke. But - nothing was detected. Pinske assumes that the smoke had penetrated the hall from the outside: "In the neighbourhood, on the outdoor area, there is a barbecue place. Probably the smell came from there."
Up to 400 people can stay overnight in the hall, but at the time of the evacuation not all guests had taken their sleeping places yet. According to Pinske, the young people were allowed to return to their beds quickly: “The last person was not even outside, when the fire brigade already gave the all-clear signal".
So far, not many operations of the control centre have been recorded. Mainly the paramedics were busy, but, fortunately, no serious injuries or illnesses have happened.