Reaction of the Commission after the fire in the Commission building
A fire broke out on 18 May 2009 on the top floor of European Commission’s headquarters, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of office workers from the 13-story building. On 19 May 2009, Johannes Laitenberger, Spokesperson of José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, explained the reaction of the EC after the fire in the Commission building, during the EC Midday press briefing.
The Berlaymont remained close and for the time being no date for reopening has been set. The investigation into the causes of the fire was underway, and the electricity and ventilation systems needed to be safely re-launched. José Manuel Barroso and the 26 other Members of the EC moved to other EC buildings in Brussels to set up temporary offices to ensure EU work could continue uninterrupted.