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Copenhagen fire: Denmark’s old stock exchange in flames

Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images

Flames ravaged the historic former Copenhagen Stock Exchange building in the Danish capital on April 16.


A huge fire ravaged the Old Copenhagen Stock Exchange, one of the Danish capital’s most famous landmarks, causing its spire to collapse as staff and citizens rushed to save paintings and historic artifacts from the fire.

Stunned commuters and onlookers watched as the raging fire swirled around the building’s distinctive 56-metre spire – shaped like the tails of four intertwined dragons – moments before it collapsed and fell onto the street below.

Footage showed huge plumes of black smoke billowing from the Copenhagen landmark as rescue workers worked below.

The fire broke out around 8:30 a.m. local time (2:30 a.m. ET) Tuesday, a Copenhagen fire chief told CNN. Shortly before 11 a.m., he said nearly half of the building had been destroyed by fire.

“We tried to save many historical paintings that were inside the building and historic furniture,” Jakob Vedsted Andersen, executive director of Greater Copenhagen Fire and Rescue Services, told CNN. He said it was “much too early” to speculate on the causes of the fire.

Copenhagen police have asked people to avoid the area and no injuries have been reported so far.

People were in the building when the fire broke out but they were all evacuated, a police spokesperson said, adding that soldiers were on site to support firefighting efforts.

Ida Marie/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images

Shocked spectators watch as fire ravages historic building in central Copenhagen.

Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images

People salvage a painting from the Old Stock Exchange after a massive fire broke out Tuesday morning.

A “piece of Danish history” is on fire, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said, calling the building’s cultural heritage “irreplaceable”.

The Børsen Building has been at the heart of Danish business since the 17th century.

The Old Stock Exchange – located just a few minutes’ walk from Christiansborg Palace – dates from 1625. It was built in the Dutch Renaissance style at the request of King Christian IV and has recently undergone renovations with its facade covered with scaffolding and protective coverings. .

Danish Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt said 400 years of cultural heritage had been damaged.

“How touching to see how Børsen employees, good people from the emergency services and passers-by work together to save artistic treasures and iconic images from the burning building,” he added in a message on X, formerly Twitter.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce, based in the building, called the scene a “terrible spectacle”.

Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The old Stock Exchange building is pictured before Tuesday’s devastating fire.

Emergency services were working to bring the fire under control, but it had spread to all floors through the elevator shaft.

Frank Trier Mikkelsen, operations director of the Greater Copenhagen Fire Brigade, said the fire was burning “violently” inside the building, according to TV 2, a public broadcaster.

Forty firefighters were inside the building and recovered their valuables, TV 2 reported.

Mikkelsen told the Danish broadcaster that the fire was of a type that emergency officials had feared, explaining that parts of the building’s roof had to be removed to put it out.

He said machines were called in to remove part of the copper roof because water was bouncing off it.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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