An old brothel in North Rhine-Westphalia faces a series of fires

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Last Updated on November 8, 2023 by Thomas Schumacher

In our quest for interesting articles, we stumbled upon a noteworthy piece on, and we aim to share this narrative with our readers. The focal point is an aging brothel in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), which has witnessed several fire incidents, resulting in its transformation into a long-forgotten establishment.

In the past, a majestic structure in Recklinghausen-South, NRW, served as the premises for “Chanell No. 5” and “Relax Lounge,” both names associated with a former brothel. Up until 2011, this establishment attracted those with interests in adult entertainment and individuals seeking companionship in the Ruhr region. Nevertheless, this era came to an end, leading to the brothel‘s eventual abandonment, marking yet another addition to the list of “Lost Places” in North Rhine-Westphalia. Recent headlines have been dominated by a fire incident in the area, while the city of Recklinghausen grapples with its limited authority to intervene.

A series of fires

Since its closure, this forsaken establishment has been marred by several fire outbreaks, with the most recent incident occurring in February 2023. During this occurrence, the Recklinghausen Fire Department responded promptly to a significant plume of smoke visible above the Southside, en route to the scene. Their statement read, “Upon arrival, a fire was discovered on the first floor of an abandoned structure. The property was already known to emergency services due to multiple prior fire incidents.” The reasons behind the neglect of this once-imposing edifice remain unclear, and the city faces constraints in wielding legal authority to rectify the situation.

Following a police raid in 2011, the brothel-like establishment on Nahestraße in Recklinghausen ceased its operations, gradually evolving into a “Lost Place.” Identifying the owner of this property has proven to be a formidable task, and the city has chosen to refrain from commenting, citing data protection regulations. In any case, there seems to be no imminent urgency from the city to address the predicament.

The city of Recklinghausen has taken the position that, “As the building stands independently on privately-owned land, there is no threat to public thoroughfares or its residents. Consequently, demolition is deemed unnecessary.” The responsibility for maintaining the “structural stability” of the building rests with the owner, whose plans remain undisclosed. They added, “Currently, the city lacks the legal means to demolish a privately-owned structure on privately-owned land.”

Potential for future action

However, if the condition of the former brothel in Recklinghausen-South continues to deteriorate, the city may consider intervention. They explained, “If reports surface regarding deficiencies in building regulations or structural issues in existing buildings, the Building Supervision Department will investigate.” In such cases, building authorities may reach out to the owner to address the situation. The city underscored, “In situations where public safety is not compromised, adherence to building regulations relies on the owner’s voluntary cooperation.” Furthermore, they emphasized, “In cases of imminent danger, the Building Regulations Department will take immediate action!”

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