Laerdal Norway: Fire Immerses the Historical Wooden VillageBy: Jasmine Allen - January 20, 2014
A large fire has destroyed at least 30 buildings in a historical village of Laerdal, Norway.
The Laerdalsoyri village is home to at least 1,150 people. Sixteen residential homes were said to be some of the buildings ruined by the flames. Others included notable monuments.
An emergency evacuation took place and at least 90 people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation, but no deaths or serious injuries have been reported.
The fire started on Saturday and wasn’t put out by firefighter helicopters until midday Sunday. Nearby farmers also assisted in putting out the flames as more and more firefighters arrived to the scene.
According to BBC News, “a helicopter was being delayed because of suspected media drones taking pictures in the area.”
Local media companies have been notified by officials that drones hovering over the village may be hazardous to helicopters, as they are continuing to extinguish the surrounding area. (image)
“I want to say a big thank you to all those who fought to bring the situation under control,” said Prime Minister Erna Solberg during a Norwegian TV interview.
There is no concrete evidence to support why the fire started, but it has been reported that strong winds expanded the fire. Police officials are keeping an eye-out on the area and have sent out warnings of another potential fire.
The Norway village, located in West Norwegian Fjords area, is well known for its 161 heritage and monumental sites. The area is a main attraction for tourists who visit the wooden-preserved site to see the 18th and 19th century constructed buildings.
Among other historical and cultural properties in the world like the Medieval City of Rhodes in Greece or the Komodo National Park in Indonesia, Laerdalsoyri village is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Urnes Stave Church, which was built in the 12th century but remodeled in the 17h century, is one of their biggest attractions.
It was unharmed by the flames.