Video: A fire engulfs the Old Stock Exchange in Copenhagen, causing blazing towers to collapse

Copenhagen’s old stock market from the 17th century was completely destroyed by a massive fire. The iconic spire of the ancient edifice collapsed in front of shocked onlookers as a result of the fire consuming it.

According to a report by the news agency AFP, the 54-meter spire of the Borsen building, which was undergoing renovations, vanished into flames.

In a rush to preserve the historic artifacts from the fire, emergency services, workers from the Danish Chamber of Commerce, including its CEO Brian Mikkelsen, and even bystanders hastily moved enormous paintings out of the building, according to a second Reuters story.

The fire, which destroyed the majority of the roof and the spire, was likened by locals to the Notre Dame fire in France in 2019. “This is Notre-Dame, ours! Elisabeth Moltke, a 45-year-old local resident, was reported by AFP as expressing her sentiments, “This is a national treasure.”

More than a hundred firemen were sent to the red-brick structure after the fire broke out beneath its copper roof at about 7:30 am local time (0530 GMT), according to emergency services.

The spire broke off, tumbling to the street below. Photographs captured the dramatic scene of massive plumes of black smoke and orange flames rising from the rooftop.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce is now housed in a structure flanked by fire engines and covered with tarp and scaffolding.

It is located quite close to Christiansborg, the nation’s seat of government and parliament.

When the fire started, the ancient structure—whose spire resembled the interwoven tails of four dragons—was undergoing renovations and covered in scaffolding.

Vedsted informed reporters that sections of the roof had fallen and that the fire had spread to many levels of the building.

“Putting out fires in historic buildings is always a sad task,” he said.

Only around 40% of the fire was under control despite the efforts of about 120 workers, according to Vedsted, who also said that the firefighting operation will go for at least 24 hours.

The Danish Stock Exchange is now housed in the Danish Chamber of Commerce’s headquarters, a building designed in the Dutch Renaissance style.

The Chamber of Commerce commented on X, “We are currently working hard to save our historical art from the Bourse.”

According to the Chamber’s website, the dragons on the roof were thought to represent protection from fire and adversaries for the trade.

The copper roof trapped the heat and made it more difficult for rescue personnel to reach the flames due to the scaffolding around the structure.

Reporters were informed by a fire department spokeswoman, “We are saving everything we possibly can.”

The fire forced the adjoining finance ministry to be evacuated, according to the police.

At first, it was unclear what started the fire.

Police in Copenhagen urged citizens to refrain from driving into the central city.

Owners of the building since 1857, the Danish Chamber of Commerce, has endeavored to renovate it in the 17th-century architectural style of Denmark’s King Christian IV.

Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt wrote on X, “400 years of Danish cultural heritage in flames.” He said to reporters, “The building is filled with art that tells a lot about our history, about who we are as a people.”

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