Watch: Spire Collapses During Blaze in Copenhagen, Denmark

April 16, 2024
Fire ripped through more than half of the Old Stock Exchange in Copenhagen, one of the city's oldest buildings.

Melissa Erichsen

Copenhagen — The historic stock exchange in Copenhagen, one of the oldest and most iconic buildings in the Danish capital, was engulfed by a major fire on Tuesday, causing its spire to collapse in the flames.

Heavy smoke and fire rose from the building as Copenhagen police cordoned off the area around the Old Stock Exchange in the centre of the city.

Parts of the roof have collapsed and the fire is not yet under control. Around 120 firefighters and around 60 members of the armed forces were deployed to the scene, Danish media reported.

The blaze has so far torn through around half of the building, the fire brigade incident commander said, according to the news agency Ritzau.

Television footage showed people carrying away a number of items, including historical paintings.

The building, also known as the Børsen, houses a large art collection, including the monumental 19th-century oil painting "From Copenhagen Stock Exchange" by P.S. Krøyer, which was carried away by several people.

Denmark's Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen expressed his shock.

"Terrible pictures from the Børsen. So sad. An iconic building that means a lot to all of us. Our own Notre Dame moment," he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, comparing the blaze to the one that severely damaged the famous Paris landmark five years ago.

The Provianthuset, a wing of Christiansborg Palace where several MPs and journalists have offices, was also evacuated in the morning due to the fire.

The palace itself houses Denmark's parliament. Meetings in the parliamentary chamber and committee rooms were initially scheduled to take place as planned.

However the Copenhagen police announced on X that they would evacuate the Ministry of Finance buildings.

The stock exchange, on the eastern tip of the island of Slotsholmen, is located opposite the National Bank of Denmark and is a tourist attraction. The spire, which depicts four intertwined dragon tails, is a symbol of the city.

The cause of the fire was initially unclear. The building was completed in 1625, and is one of the oldest in Copenhagen. The building is currently undergoing renovations and is covered in scaffolding.

The renovation was intended to correct previous work carried out in the 19th century, and restore the building's façade to its original appearance.

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