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Monument for victims of devastating 1917 peat bog fire

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

VALTHERMOND – Later this decade, in May 2017, will mark 100 years since a huge peat fire reduced the Drenthe peat town of Valthermond and area largely to ashes, claiming the lives of 17 people. Among the victims of the fire, which took over a week to extinguish, were eight members of the bargemen Brands family. They were trapped aboard their steel frame freight barge. About 100 homes, bridges and other structures were lost in the fire, which evoked sympathy for the casualties throughout the country. The fire is the most devastating one ever in Dutch peat bogs. It also ended a peat digger’s strike. A local historical society has plans to erect a monument in memory of the fire’s victims.