Burning at the Fire-Up factory: a long story

On Monday, there was another large fire at the Fire-Up factory in Oisterwijk. And this is not the first time. Fire-Up has been hit several times in recent years, which despite permits and measures has become a headache for the municipality. The unrest around the factory is great in the village. An overview of previous incidents.

Written by

Ron Vorstermans

1997: the first hit
The lighter factory has a rich but very turbulent history in Oisterwijk. To start with the first fire, we have to go back to 1997. Fire-up does not officially exist yet: That name was only created shortly after the turn of the century.

Before that, the company was called ‘Peko’, and it is still located on Sprendlingenweg. In 1997, ‘Peko is on fire’ according to the regional newspaper Brabants Dagblad, but there are hardly any pictures or details of the fire.

2013: the first major fire in almost two decades
The next big brand in the company, which after 2006 was in the hands of the entrepreneur Kees van Opstal, was long overdue, but in 2013 it succeeded. On 19 June, a large fire broke out in the factory on Laarakkerweg, where the company is located.

A large cloud of smoke moves over Oisterwijk and Tilburg. Ash falls all over Oisterwijk. The damage turns out to be enormous, because the ignition factory is no longer salvageable. At the end of the day, there is only one fireproof wall left. The cause can no longer be found.

Waiting for privacy settings …

2019: a year filled with misery
Then it stands still for years. In 2016, there was still a minor fire at the factory in the exhaust system, but the fire was quickly extinguished. Yet peace does not last long. In fact, in the second half of 2019, the company is really ravaged by fire outbreaks. The first, at the end of July, is the biggest: The fire department spends hours putting out a shed with lighters on Nedervonder.

Owner Kees van Opstal then states that he ‘just wants to continue’ with the factory. He does, but not without another fire that year – four times in a few days. A new oil appears to be the cause of the four recent fires. Therefore, it was decided in consultation with the municipality and the fire service to have part of the warehouse removed and destroyed on Thursday.

In a short time, pallets broke into flames with fire (photo: Toby de Kort / De Kort Media).
In a short time, pallets broke into flames with fire (photo: Toby de Kort / De Kort Media).

The business is still going on. In mid-October, Fire-Up will start making lighters again. This time, the company has taken several safety precautions to prevent overheating in the blocks. Sensors are in contact with the company’s fire alarm system. In addition, there is day inspection of the warehouse.

The containers with pallets are also closed almost airtight. These measures are sufficient for the municipality of Oisterwijk, which ceased work in the company on 21 September.

2022: Permits at stake
This week it happened again. The fire broke out overnight from Sunday to Monday. The fire extinguisher fitted with foam was used to put out the fire, but the fire flared up again Monday morning. The fire department is still fighting the fire, which is raging in a large shed. Some smoke is released during the fire. The fire is difficult to fight because there is a lot of combustible material in the shed.

See the big fire in the ignition factory from the air here:

Waiting for privacy settings …

The property can almost certainly be considered lost. The municipality of Oisterwijk will carry out in-depth research into the very large ones. Mayor Hans Janssen is not afraid to ‘depending on the results of the survey take far-reaching steps in the context of licensing’, he says. The factory may lose its permits.


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Furious fire destroys the ignition factory Fire-Up in Oisterwijk

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