Massive blaze displaces 200 Copenhageners

Firefighters fought flames throughout night to save half the apartment building

On Wednesday morning, firefighters in Copenhagen continued to battle the powerful fire that broke out in a large, multi-family apartment building the day before.

Most of the department’s trucks and firefighters were engaged in fighting the flames that sprang out around 3pm on Tuesday in the apartment building on the corner of Valbygårdsvej and Bjørnsonsvej in Copenhagen’s Valby district.

During the long night they battled the blaze back and stopped its lateral spread along the roofline, but isolated fires also spread to the lower floors, and reserve firefighters had to be called in to support the desperate rescue action.

By Wednesday morning, the firefighters reported that the fire was finally under control, but that work would continue throughout the day to put out smaller fires that had sprung up.

The investigation into the fire’s cause cannot begin until all of the flames are extinguished, but a new roof could be part of the reason.

Last year, the building got a brand new roof. The conflagration was most violent in the area of the roof and, indeed, most of that new roof was consumed by flames within hours.

Police evacuated the building’s 200 residents shortly after the fire alarm was struck on Tuesday and, apparently, no-one was hurt. Den Sociale Døgnvagt, Copenhagen’s emergency social services department, helped arrange accommodations where displaced residents could spend the night.

It could be many weeks, however, before many of those residents can go home again, if at all.

Out of the buildingÂ’s eight separate stairwells, almost half were severely fire damaged, according to commander Magnus Mattsson of the Copenhagen fire department, who directed the firefighting efforts.

“Three of the stairwells have very serious damage. I think that most of the apartments in those areas will be uninhabitable because of a combination of fire and water damage,” he told Berlingske newspaper on Wednesday morning.

Mattsson said that the top-floor apartments and roof of a fourth stairwell were also heavily damaged. The fire company was able to stop the blaze from spreading to four other stairwells and their apartments, which sustained minimal damage.





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