Europe

Norway fire chars wooden village of Laerdalsoyri

An aerial view of fire damage in Laerdalsoyri, southern Norway, 19 January Image copyright AFP
Image caption Little more than ash was left in some places

A night-time blaze has consumed at least 30 buildings in a heritage village in southern Norway, famous for its unique wooden buildings.

Scores of people were evacuated as winds fanned the flames in Laerdalsoyri, a village of 1,150 people in Laerdal, on Sognefjord fjord.

At least 90 people received hospital treatment but no deaths were reported.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg was due to visit the village as investigators look for the cause of the fire.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJonathan Josephs reports: ''The fire quickly spread, aided by strong winds''

While the flames appear to have been extinguished, police warned of a danger they could flare up again.

Residents expressed shock at what one described as "terrible" destruction.

Drone warning

Local farmers helped out while emergency services waited for firefighting helicopters to arrive.

At one stage, police told Norwegian newspaper VG that a helicopter was being delayed because of suspected media drones taking pictures in the area.

"It is important for us to stress that if someone is using drones, they must get them out of there," police spokesman Nils Erik Eggen said.

"This could create a hazardous situation and may pose a danger to helicopters."

The police could not say how many drones had been operating in the area.

The Laerdal district contains a stave church and many other historic wooden buildings, hundreds of years old, much visited by tourists.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Smoke was still rising from the ruins on Sunday

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