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Inferno Notre-Dame do older Aalstenaars think back to a fire in St. Martin's church: 72 years ago, but something you will never forget
Aalst The terrible fire in the Notre-Dame of Paris calls upon the older Aalstenaars memories of the fire in the Sint-Martinuskerk. On march 29, 1947, it was with the fire brigade of Aalst all hands on deck when there were flames and smoke coming from the roof of the oldest church of the city rose up. Anita Of Neck was then 14 years old, lived near the church, and that day is never forgotten.

Saturday, march 29, 1947. It is the Saturday morning market, but the market on the Grote Markt are unemployed to look. It is a cold, chilly day and the wind blows fiercely from the south-east. Customers are staying away. What later in the Sint-martinus Church is the on the day before easter Sunday pressure. Many believers want to go to confession for Easter. The church is never full, but it is a coming and going of adults.

Two plumbers go in the morning, the spiral staircase of the St. Martin's church up. The whole morning they carry out repairs to the church on the side of the Sluierstraatje. Already three days they are at work and tonight they would be ready. In the attic are buckets of water and sand, the vuurbestrijdingsmiddelen from that time.

Around 16.20 hours is the assistant in the pharmacy Of Neck what aimlessly behind the counter. The case is empty. The building of pharmacy of the Neck lies in the shadow of the Sint-martinus Church. Nowadays the building is empty, and to its right is the well-known danscafé The Holy Gheest. In 1947, lived Anita Of Neck there, and her father a pharmacy. “My father and his assistant had a desk where he was working. He looked outside and saw smoke rise from the church of Saint Martin,” says Anita Of the Neck. “He was the first that the fire brigade called.” The horn kept ringing but no answer. The man throws down the receiver and runs to the town hall on the Grote Markt to the fire department to notify.

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