Norway’s small and historic coastal town of Risør, which has one of the Europe’s best-preserved collection of old wooden houses, was spared what could have been a devastating fire this week. Three buildings were gutted by the blaze, “but I think we were lucky that the fire didn’t cause more damage,” said Mayor Per Krisitian Lunden.
“This has shaken our city very strongly,” Lunden said at a press conference after the early-morning fire on Wednesday had been brought under control. “The greatest fear we have is a fire that spreads.”
Police broke into homes in order to wake up neighbours living in the small, white-painted wooden houses in the historic downtown area. Around 30 people were evacuated and it took several hours before the fire that started in one building spread to two others and damaged a fourth.
Heat-sensitive cameras mounted in three areas of Risør had set off alarms and prompted a rapid response from emergency services. The cause of the fire was unclear but an investigation was underway.