A wooden village in Laerdal, Norway was destroyed by a fast moving fire on Monday, as heartbroken residents watched on.
The blaze — which started overnight — has leveled at least 30 buildings in the picturesque town located in the south of Norway.
— Little Scandinavian (@ScandinavianMum) January 20, 2014
— Elusive Moose (@elusive_moose) January 19, 2014
Dozens of people were evacuated as winds fueled the flames in Laerdalsoyr — a village of 1,150 residents — in Laerdal, on Sognefjord fjord. Reports indicate at least 90-people were taken to hospitals, however, no fatalities have been reported.
Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg planned to visit the village in Laerdal, as the investigation gets underway to look into the cause of the fire.
While the fire seems to be extinguished, police are warning of a danger they could flare up again.
Multiple buildings burn down in Lærdal fire in Norway. Police had to delay helicopters until drones had cleared area. http://t.co/THy9nLLeIl
— Lars Plougmann (@larsz) January 20, 2014
— Endre Lunde (@endrelunde) January 19, 2014
According to reports, strong winds allowed the Laerdal fire in Norway to move rapidly and local farmers helped out while firefighters arrived at the scene.
As is always the case, we can get a good idea of what is happening in real time from reports on Twitter, as some locals share photos and news agencies reports from the ground, even as there is information indicating communications are down, including internet and cell phones.
— Mannfred Nyttingnes (@MannfredNikolai) January 19, 2014
Norwegian town Laerdal is burning. This town is on Unesco World Heritage List. – Aftenposten http://t.co/LuqeuYQkqB
— Rolf E Pedersen (@MobilRolf) January 19, 2014
— Gatemann (@Gatemann) January 19, 2014
OMG!! Lærdal is on fire. Looks like entire village will burn down. Fire department can't get it control.. 🙁 pic.twitter.com/QF5Bax1yba
— Jarno Teittinen (@JarnoTeittinen) January 19, 2014
— B. Storm (@FrkStorm) January 19, 2014
Police told Norwegian newspaper VG that a helicopter used to fight the Laerdal fire was being delayed because of suspected media drones taking pictures in the area.
“It is important for us to stress that if someone is using drones, they must get them out of there,” police spokesman Nils Erik Eggen said. “This could create a hazardous situation and may pose a danger to helicopters.”
Laerdal Norway is home to historic churches and other buildings which have stood for centuries. This is the second worst fire to hit the small town in modern history.
[Image via @FrkStorm/Twitter]