Police in Norway’s southern city of Kristiansand were seeking more information from witnesses who claimed they say two people running from the scene of a major fire over the weekend that destroyed three buildings downtown.
The fire is believed to have broken out in an ecological grocery store at Henrik Wergelands gate 5. It spread quickly to several other stores in the block bordered by Henrik Wergelands gate, Vestre Strand gate, Markens gate and Kristian IVs gate.
The area was comprised of old wooden buildings characteristic of Kristiansand along with more modern structures, nearly all of which were commercial properties. The nearby Thon Hotel Kristiansand was also also evacuated along with several other buildings. There were no injuries.
The Agder Police District received the first alarms shortly after 2am Sunday. By the time firefighters arrived, flames were shooting out from the buildings and it took many hours to bring the blaze under control.
Nine patrol cars, all available fire-fighting units plus emergency crews from neighbouring Søgne, Songdalen og Vennesla were called in to battle the blaze. A Sea King helicopter was also dispatched to fly over the area to see whether anyone was trapped on the roofs of the area’s buildings.
Ole Hortemo, police station chief in Kristiansand, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that they’d launched an investigation into the blaze. He said crime technicians worked at the site all day on Sunday, and police were calling for any photos or videos taken by passersby, along with information about what they may have seen.
“We have spoken with witnesses who say they saw two people running from Henrik Wergelands gate and up Kirkegata when the fire broke out,” Hortemo told NRK. “This is very interesting information for the police, and we want to come in contact with others who have any information.”