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Fire Breaks Out at Copenhagen's Historic Old Stock Exchange

By News   Desk

A devastating fire ripped through the iconic Old Stock Exchange building in the Danish capital on Tuesday, causing catastrophic damage to one of the city's most cherished landmarks.

The blaze, which erupted around midday, quickly engulfed the building's distinctive spire, which collapsed in a scene chillingly reminiscent of the 2019 Notre-Dame cathedral fire in Paris. Parts of the roof gave way and the flames spread to several floors, sending thick plumes of grey smoke billowing over the city skyline.

"Horrible pictures from the Bourse. So sad. An iconic building that means a lot to all of us... Our own Notre-Dame moment," lamented Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen on social media platform X.

Firefighters battled desperately to save the 17th-century Dutch Renaissance-style structure, but the scaffolding covering the building during renovations hampered their efforts. Copenhagen fire chief Jakob Vedsted Andersen confirmed there were no reports of injuries, but said the damage was extensive.

Witnesses reported seeing people rushing to carry large paintings and other historic artifacts out of the burning building in a frantic bid to salvage Denmark's cultural heritage.

"We are currently working hard to save our historical art from the Bourse," the Danish Chamber of Commerce, which owns the landmark, posted on X.

The iconic dragons adorning the building's roof, long believed to symbolically protect the structure, were unable to prevent the devastating blaze.

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

The cause of the fire remains unknown, and authorities have urged the public to avoid the city center as the emergency response continues. The nearby Finance Ministry was also evacuated as a precaution.