Published On: Tue, Apr 16th, 2024

Copenhagen fire: Huge blaze rips through historic building | World | News

A huge fire broke out in the Old Stock Exchange in Copenhagen on Tuesday morning, a historic building known as Børsen in the heart of the Danish capital.  

Dramatic pictures from the scene of the incident showed huge plumes of thick smoke rising from the building, located next to the seat of the Danish Parliament, Christiansborg Palace.  

Several fire engines, as well as police officers, rushed to the cordoned-off area in a bid to tackle the blaze. 

The city’s police force said on social media platform X: “Due to brand development in Børsen, we are currently extensively present in inner Copenhagen. Traffic towards the city on Knippelsbro is blocked. We expect the area to be cordoned off for a longer period of time. We encourage road users to find alternative routes.”

The building was wrapped in scaffolding as it was undergoing renovation work when it caught fire.  

The blaze appeared to spread quickly amid reports the tower topping the building, a beautiful 183-foot spire shaped as the tails of four dragons twined together, broke off after going up in flame and fell onto the street at approximately 7.30am BST (8.30am local time). 

Børsen, which today serves as the headquarters of the Danish Chamber of Commerce, is one of Copenhagen’s oldest buildings, dating back to 1625.  

As flames were still ravaging the building, workers were seen transporting outside of the major tourist attraction some valuable artworks to protect them from the blaze.   

The director of the Chamber, Brian Mikkelsen, was present and helping, according to local news outlet Politiken.

One of the reporters on the scene, Morten Skærbæk, was quoted saying: “He looked reasonably shocked.”

Lars Dahlager, another journalist at Politiken, said of the incident: “This is crazy, I’ve never seen such a big fire in my life. The fire has grown, more and more serious, it seems to be spreading to a larger part of the building.” 

The huge fire attracted many people to the area, many of whom looked petrified and shocked. 

Local craftsman Henrik Grage compared this fire to the one that, in 2019, engulfed Paris’ most famous cathedral, as he said upon appearing on Danish TV: “This is our Notre Dame”.

Danish Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt said 400 years of Danish cultural heritage had gone up in flames.

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