Firefighters Battle Copenhagen Landmark Fire For Second Day

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Copenhagen: Danish firefighters on Wednesday battled for a second day to extinguish a fire that gutted Copenhagen's historic former stock exchange, as police said an extensive investigation into the cause of the fire could last months.

Half of the 17th-century Borsen building was burned and its 54-metre (180-foot) spire tumbled to the ground in the fire that broke out on Tuesday morning, in scenes that shocked Denmark.

Emergency services announced the blaze was under control on Tuesday but it continued to burn in the part of the building, which had been undergoing renovation.

On Wednesday morning, firefighters were still tackling flames in the damaged part of the building, "where only the exterior walls remain", they wrote on X, the former Twitter.

They added they were working to secure the stability of the walls and monitoring undamaged areas. Firefighters predicted they would be battling the flames for another 24 hours.

View taken from the tower of the Parliament as Danish firefighters and emergency personnel work on the structure during the final extinguishing operations one day after a fire ravaged the historic Boersen Stock Exchange and toppled its iconic spire in Copenhagen on April 17, 2024. (Photo by Liselotte Sabroe / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP)

Around 40 containers, each measuring 12 metres long, were being placed along the exterior walls of the burned part to support the structure walls, Frank Trier Mikkelsen, spokesman for Copenhagen's rescue service told news agency Ritzau.

The cause of the fire is unknown and Copenhagen police said Wednesday that a major investigation had been launched.

"It is a complicated process and it can take several months before we can reach an answer," police said in a statement.

"For the time being we have carried out interviews, secured surveillance footage and carried out a series of investigative steps," Brian Belling, who is in charge of the investigation, was quoted saying.

Belling added a lot was still to be done, "especially since at this stage we have not yet had the opportunity to examine Borsen itself."

As one of the capital's oldest and best-known landmarks, the Borsen building also held a vast art collection and houses the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

Close to the Christiansborg parliament and seat of government, it was commissioned by King Christian IV and built between 1619 and 1640. It was the stock exchange until the 1970s.

Danish Business' CEO Brian Mikkelsen holds the top of the toppled dragon spire from the Boersen historic stock exchange as he gives an interview about the fire at the building in central Copenhagen, Denmark on April 17, 2024. Photo by Ida Marie Odgaard / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP

In some positive news for Copenhagen's residents, Brian Mikkelsen, director of the Danish Chamber of Commerce said they had recovered the top of the building's iconic spire -- which was designed to look like it was made up of the intertwined tails of four dragons.

"It gave a glimmer of hope. Because it will once again adorn our beautiful workplace and Copenhagen," Mikkelsen said in a post to X.


The Peninsula

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