A fire spread quickly through an apartment compex and an adjacent building under construction in the mountain resort town of Hemsedal Wednesday evening. There were no injuries, but the fire is a local disaster just before the busy Easter holidays.
“I was skiing up on the mountain and could see that it was burning down here,” Berthram Wahl, who owned one of the apartments in the complex called Staven (The Ski Pole), told state broadcaster NRK. “I was nervous that the apartment would be destroyed. I think everything’s gone.”
The fire was dramatic, characterized by occasional explosions from inside the buildings, flames shooting through the roof and windows, and smoke that could be seen from miles away. Police believe it started in the adjacent building under construction at the ski resort and spread quickly to Staven.
Local officials set up a crisis team to offer food and shelter to those who lost their homes or were renting units while on holiday at Hemsedal. “We’re glad no one was hurt,” Hemsedal Mayor Pål Rørby told NRK, ” but it’s of course very difficult for those who own units here and those behind the new building.”
It also comes just as Hemsedal is reopening and receiving more visitors after the Corona crisis. “It’s been a very demanding two years, with closed borders and Corona for two years,” Rørby said. “When we could finally open up and get some business again, this happens.” The cause of the blaze was under investigation.