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Firefighters to Tackle Scaffolding Dangling Outside Ruins of Fire-Ravaged Danish Landmark

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Firefighters in Copenhagen plan to start taking down scaffolding that is left dangling dangerously Friday outside the ruins of the Danish capital’s historic Old Stock Exchange building after a fire tore through it and collapsed much of its structure.

A large blaze broke out at the 400-year-old landmark on Tuesday, toppling its roof and iconic dragon-tail spire. On Thursday, a large section of the outer wall of the building collapsed inwards. The most valuable paintings and items inside had been saved from the flames, and no one was injured.

“Right now, structural engineers and engineers are assessing how it can be done to cut the scaffolding free,” said Tim Ole Simonsen, a spokesman for the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department. “It is very difficult work.”

The outer wall of the Stock Exchange has collapsed towards Boersgade, Copenhagen, Thursday, April 18, 2024. A fire raged through one of Copenhagen’s oldest buildings on Tuesday, causing the collapse of the iconic spire of the 17th-century Old Stock Exchange as passersby rushed to help emergency services save priceless paintings and other valuables. (Thomas Traasdahl/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

He added there were still pockets of small fires and “tons” of debris inside the ruins of the building, which dates to 1615 He said they were also using a drone to survey the work.

Tuesday’s blaze was believed to have started on the roof of the building, which had been wrapped up in scaffolding while the building was being renovated. The cause remained unclear and police had yet to enter the burned part of the building to investigate.

The plans to remove the scaffolding was an attempt to salvage the unharmed part of the Copenhagen landmark. Firefighters said they could not say how long that would take, and adjacent streets were still closed for traffic.

Fire rages from the dragon spire of the Stock Exchange in Copenhagen, Denmark, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A fire raged through one of Copenhagen’s oldest buildings on Tuesday, causing the collapse of the iconic spire of the 17th-century Old Stock Exchange as passersby rushed to help emergency services save priceless paintings and other valuables. (Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

The Danish Chamber of Commerce, which was headquartered at the building and owns it, has said it wants to r econstruct the building. However, no decision has yet been made about who will finance a reconstruction, a project that would cost millions, if not billions of kroner (dollars) and take years.

The exchange, known for its green copper roof and distinctive in the shape of four intertwined dragon tails, sits on the waterfront next to the Danish parliament. It is considered a leading example of the Dutch Renaissance architectural style in Denmark. The Chamber of Commerce moved into the building after Copenhagen’s stock exchange left in 1974.


By JAN M. OLSEN Associated Press

Fire rages from the dragon spire of the Stock Exchange in Copenhagen, Denmark, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A fire raged through one of Copenhagen’s oldest buildings on Tuesday, causing the collapse of the iconic spire of the 17th-century Old Stock Exchange as passersby rushed to help emergency services save priceless paintings and other valuables. (Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)
The ruins is seen after the outer wall has collapsed in a fire in the historical building Boersen, the former Stock Exchange in Copenhagen, Denmark, Friday April 19, 2024. Copenhagen’s mayor said Thursday she contacted her Paris counterpart to see what could be learned from the reconstruction of the Notre Dame cathedral in the French capital, after a fire devastated the Danish city’s 400-year-old stock exchange building. (Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

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