Police in the coastal city of Sandefjord were quick to confirm that someone tried to set fire to the home of the city’s long-time mayor, Bjørn Ole Gleditsch of the Conservative Party, during the weekend. An investigation is underway.
Gleditsch himself had arrived home in a taxi late Saturday night to discover flames along one side of his classic old wooden house. He and the taxi driver immediately called for help, and Gleditsch managed to extinguish the flames before they’d done much damage.
With the smell of gasoline detected by everyone arriving on the scene, police didn’t hesitate to launch an arson investigation, “and this is, after all, the home of the mayor,” police inspector Ole Bjørn Sakrisvold told newspaper VG Sunday morning. That raises the prospect of an attack on an elected official.
Gleditsch said he had no idea who or why anyone would try to burn down his house, possibly with him inside since the fire was set late at night when it’s more likely occupants would be home. He admitted it was “frightening,” but said it wouldn’t scare him out of politics. He preferred to call it “an attack on democracy” and therefore even more “unacceptable.”