A dramatic fire in downtown Bergen forced the evacuation of 22 people Thursday night and left several injured as it threatened an historic neighbourhood. Witnesses reported one man hanging from the roof of a house as he made a desperate attempt to escape.
Police told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that six people were injured, some of them seriously. They were rushed to Haukeland University Hospital for treatment. Operations leader Arve Samsonsen told NRK that 22 people were evacuated from their homes in the area around Nedre Hamburgersmau in downtown Bergen.
The area is characterized by wooden buildings and is not far from Bergen’s historic wharf known as Bryggen, and firefighters fought hard to the fire from spreading. They managed to get it under control at around 11:30pm, an hour after alarms rang.
The fire started in a house where there’s constant fear of a major blaze. “This is an area where buildings are packed very close together, where the risk from a major fires is high,” Samsonsen told NRK. He said it was too early to assess all the damage after the fire, “but the house where the fire started is completely destroyed and unliveable.”
It was also too early to determine the cause of the blaze. Firefighters expected to remain on the scene through the night as they continued work to prevent the fire from reigniting. Local streets in the area, which also lies near base station for Bergen’s popular funicular known as Fløibanen, were cordoned off.