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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Dozens evacuated in Oslo fire

Nearly 60 residents of an apartment building on one of Oslo’s most fashionable avenues, Bygdøy allé, were evacuated early Tuesday after fire broke out in a third-floor flat. Many had to be plucked from balconies, where they yelled for help.

Fire fighters used cranes and lifts to rescue residents who couldn’t make their way down smoke-filled stairwells in the building near the landmark Gimle Cinema. Several residents were taken to hospital, after suffering smoke inhalation.

“No one had to jump, but we have evacuated very many,” fire brigade chief Jan Erik Andersen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). He described the scene as “dramatic,” with people hanging out of windows and on balconies crying for help when his crews arrived.

There were no serious injuries or deaths, and the fire was extinguished by 8:30am, about two hours after it started. Oslo’s fire department called in crews from all over town, and ambulances were standing by as well.

Bygdøy allé, a busy artery through the west side of the city, was closed for several blocks, from Thomas Heftyes Gate to Niels Juels Gate, forcing diversion of all bus and car traffic during the morning rush hour.

The cause of the fire remained unclear. Many apartments in the building at Bygdøy allé 35 were said to have suffered heavy smoke damage.

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