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Czech News in English » News » Prague » Czech National Theatre fire

Czech National Theatre fire

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On August 12th, the Czech National Theatre sadly burned down. The fire engulfed the roof of the Theatre at 5 o’clock, after workers finishing its construction a month after its opening accidentally started it. The fire proceeded downwards and completely destroyed the stage and auditorium of the theatre, as it burned throughout the night. These news were the story of the day exactly 140 years ago in 1881. Two years later, thanks to Czechs selling their valuables to donate to the rebuilding of the monument, it reopened and it entertains the Czech people to this day. To commemorate the fire, the Prague fire department organized a showcase for the public. They arrived to the theatre exactly at 17:00, and acted as if there was a fire on the roof, showing how they would tackle the inferno today, with modern equipment, tactics and training. They hurried out of their six modern firetrucks, and extended platforms from two of them all the way to the roof. The firemen on the platforms sprayed the roof with water for a few minutes, until the ‘fire’ was extinguished. They were accompanied by one firetruck from the period of the first fire, which demonstrated how hopeless the efforts of the firemen of the era looked. These firefighters were dressed in 19th century uniforms and hand pumped water into their single firehose. At the end, they at least announced the end of the deployment by blowing a bugle, which was their biggest contribution to the imaginary efforts of modern firefighters.

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