Latvia's Riga Castle damaged by fire

Fire at Riga Castle, Latvia. 20 June 2013 Flames raced through the roof and attic of the castle

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Fire has badly damaged the roof of Riga Castle, official residence of the Latvian president and home of Latvia's National History Museum.

TV images showed smoke and flames shooting into the night sky over the Latvian capital.

The Baltic News Service said the fire started late on Thursday and raced through the attic and roof.

President Andris Berzins has not been staying at the castle, as it is being renovated.

There are no reports of injuries but it is not yet clear if any museum artefacts have been damaged or destroyed.

Fire service spokeswoman Viktorija Sembele told AFP news agency that the cause of the fire was not yet known.

"It is serious because it is an historic building in Old Riga," she said.

She added that 10 fire crews had helped tackle the blaze and that the army provided a helicopter to drop water from a nearby river.

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