BerlinA fire that broke out late on Sunday at the Onkel Toms Hütte subway stop and shopping mall is all but extinguished. A witness heard an explosion in a restaurant adjacent to the tracks at about 9pm, police said, and then saw fire in the restaurant. 

About 120 firefighters were on-scene at the height of the fire, though the number had declined to 15 by Monday morning as the force scoured for the last remaining potential sources of fire. A special thermal drone was used to help firefighters find hot spots in the ceiling and avoid stepping on insecure areas. 

"Firefighters saved the restaurant owner, who had suffered life-threatening injuries, during the call," a fire department spokesman said. "It took a lot of effort to create a number of openings in the roof to extinguish the fire." An official cause of the fire as well as the extent of damages remain unclear. Three additional people suffered minor injuries, including a 12-year-old boy, and are being treated in hospital.

Some residents of the housing estate of the same name adjacent to the station had to be evacuated. 

"There's a strong odour of smoke here," the spokesman reportedly said. 

The U3 remains out of service between Krumme Lanke and Breitenbachplatz but BVG is using bus replacement services. Riemeisterstraße betwwen Argentinische Allee and Wilskistraße is also closed and drivers are advised to avoid Argentinische Allee between Onkel-Tom-Straße and Riemeistertsraße.

Photo: Eric Richard
The station and shopping mall from above Monday morning.