King Harald and Queen Sonja were among the 82 persons evacuated from the Royal Palace in Oslo on Monday after fire alarms started ringing just before 11am. The king was in the process of meeting with the president of Lithuania when the first alarm went off.
“The royal couple and the president were taken to a safe place with a police escort,” palace spokeswoman Marianne Hagen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
The alarm was set off after an overheated motor in a fan in the palace’s attic started emitting smoke. “The smoke has been aired out and no one was hurt,” Ola Krokan, operations leader for the Oslo Police District, told NRK Monday afternoon.
Everyone evacuated from the palace was allowed to return after the trouble was located. “Our routine is to send adequate resources, and a bit more than usual when the palace is involved,” Morten Bergh of the Oslo fire brigade told NRK. “It was a bit different than the response to an automatic fire alarm.”
The fan, according to Krokan, was being used in connection with ongoing renovation work inside the palace, which dates from the 1840s.