Fire breaks out at Copenhagen’s historic stock exchange building

COPENHAGEN — A fire hit Copenhagen’s Old Stock Exchange on Tuesday, one of the Danish capital’s best-known buildings, engulfing its spire which collapsed onto the roof in a scene reminiscent of the 2019 blaze at Paris’ Notre-Dame cathedral.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, police said.

Video from the scene showed people carrying large paintings away from the building to save the historic artefacts from the flames.

“Horrible pictures from the Bourse. So sad. An iconic building that means a lot to all of us … Our own Notre-Dame moment,” Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen wrote on X.

The historic building, whose spire was shaped as the tails of four dragons intertwined, had been under renovation when the fire broke out.

The scaffolding around the building made it harder for the emergency services to get through to the flames, while the copper roof was preserving the heat, the Copenhagen fire department said.

The nearby finance ministry was evacuated as a result of the fire, the police said.

The Dutch Renaissance style building no longer houses the Danish stock exchange, but serves as headquarters for the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

“We are met by a terrible sight. The Bourse is on fire,” the Chamber of Commerce wrote on X.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze.

Copenhagen police asked people to avoid driving in the inner part of the city.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce, which has owned the building since 1857, has worked on restoring it to the style of Denmark’s King Christian IV, who had the building constructed in the 17th century.

“400 years of Danish cultural heritage in flames,” Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt wrote on X. — Reuters