Fire Engulfs Historic Børsen Stock Exchange Building in Copenhagen

The historic 17th-century Børsen Stock Exchange building in Copenhagen, Denmark, is on fire.

On Tuesday, a devastating fire engulfed Copenhagen’s 17th-century former stock exchange, resulting in the collapse of the historic building’s iconic spire, witnessed by horrified onlookers.

The 54-meter (180-foot) spire, situated atop the Borsen building undergoing renovation, was observed disappearing into flames, as documented by an AFP journalist present at the scene.

Subsequently, the spire broke apart and fell onto the street below, accompanied by dramatic scenes of thick black smoke billowing from the structure.

Commissioned by King Christian IV and constructed between 1619 and 1640, the Borsen building stands as one of Copenhagen’s most recognizable landmarks.

Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt expressed shock at the incident, likening it to the Notre Dame Cathedral fire that occurred nearly five years earlier, emphasizing the loss of 400 years of Danish cultural heritage.

Witnesses, including 45-year-old Copenhagen resident Elisabeth Moltke, were deeply affected by the sight of the blaze, with some unable to contain their emotions.

Engel-Schmidt commended the efforts of employees, emergency responders, and citizens who worked tirelessly to salvage art treasures and iconic paintings from the burning structure.

Images from the scene depicted individuals rescuing valuable works of art, including a painting depicting the Borsen building itself.

Situated adjacent to the Danish parliament, Christiansborg Palace, the Borsen building formerly housed the stock exchange until the 1970s and currently serves as the Danish Chamber of Commerce headquarters.

The fire, which reportedly began at 7:30 am (0530 GMT), prompted immediate efforts by authorities to contain the blaze and secure the affected area.

Morten Langager, director of the Danish Chamber of Commerce, reassured the public that efforts were underway to salvage whatever possible amidst the ongoing crisis.

Police implemented roadblocks in parts of the city center to facilitate firefighting operations.

The historic red-brick and copper-roofed structure, among the oldest in Copenhagen, was in the midst of renovation when the fire erupted, with the cause of the blaze yet to be determined.

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