The logo came perilously close to going up in flames when the roof of the Europe-Center caught fire earlier this week.

Standing 282 feet (86 meters) tall, the Europa-Center is one of the tallest buildings in the city of Berlin, Germany. Which made its roof the ideal place for Mercedes-Benz to put a giant-sized version of its three-pointed star emblem, where it can be seen across most of the city.

Decades later, the emblem is an integral part of the Berlin skyline. And yet it was almost destroyed earlier this week when a fire broke out on the roof of the building.

The fire started early on Tuesday morning - social media was soon flooded with images and videos of smoke and flames pouring from the roof. The emergency services were quickly dispatched and, according to a tweet by the Berlin police, the fire had been extinguished less than three hours later. Fortunately no-one was injured despite, according to some reports, the fire alarms not going off in the building.


The Europa-Center was opened in 1965, having taken two years to build. It stands on the site of the famous Romanisches Cafe, an artists’ haunt during the interwar years that was bombed during World War Two and left derelict.

Architects Helmut Hentrich and Hubert Petschnigg designed an office and shopping complex in the American mould. In its 21 stories, it currently houses around 100 retail outlets and restaurants, plus a cabaret club, art installations, and offices. There’s an observation deck on the 20th floor, as well.

Investigations are being carried out into the cause of the fire, though a number of reports in the German press suggest it started in a faulty air conditioning unit.

The Mercedes emblem measures 33 feet (10 meters) across, weighs 33,000 pounds (15,000 kilograms, and rotates roughly once every 30 seconds. At night, it's lit up by 681 florescent tubes.

There has been no official word as to whether or not the emblem sustained any damage in the fire, though it appears to have escaped the flames.

Source: Auto Evolution; NBC News