Firefighters gained control Sunday over a blaze that swept through a former community hall at Skafså in Tokke, Telemark County. The building was due to house asylum seekers and police are investigating whether it was another case of arson.
State broadcaster NRK reported that emergency crews responding to the fire were met by open flames and heavy smoke. There were no known injuries, since no one was living inside the building yet.
It was planned take in some of the many asylum seekers who have arrived in Norway in recent months. Local Mayor Jarand Felland sent out a message on social media Sunday saying he hopes the fire was not deliberately set. He said it would be “incredibly sad” and “completely unacceptable” if the fire was a result of arson.
The suspicious blaze follows others that have been found to have been set at planned and existing asylum centers around Norway. In one recent blaze, police have arrested three Bulgarian men, all immigrants themselves in Norway, for setting fire to a hotel that was due to house asylum seekers in Hordaland County, western Norway.