The mayor of Ål has grown up close to the house that burned down on Friday night. She is relieved that no one was injured.
– It is of course dramatic, and it is especially when something like that happens on Christmas Eve, says mayor Solveig Vestenfor Saturday morning.
The night before, she received a phone call from the councilor, informing her that a detached house in Ål municipality in Hallingdal was on fire.
All four who lived there escaped, but it would be almost five hours before the fire brigade had finished the extinguishing work. Photos from the site showed massive smoke and flames protruding from the ceiling.
Vestenfor has grown up nearby.
When she drove her mother home from the Christmas party a little later in the evening, they passed the house. It made an impression.
– It was clear that the fire had been strong, but fortunately there was very good control at midnight when we drove by.
Councilor Karsten Dideriksen was in a Christmas party with the family when he received the phone call from the fire service.
– It was clearly dramatic, and it is difficult to imagine how people feel in such a situation, he says.
– No matter what time of year it happens, it is just as tragic.
He says that the municipality will work to take care of the family throughout the day.
– They are followed up and have a temporary place to live.
Death fire in Oslo: – A terrible tragedy
On Christmas Eve and through the night, there have been several serious house fires around the country.
One person died, and three firefighters were injured, after a fire the night before Christmas Day at Stovner in Oslo.
City councilor Raymond Johansen (Labor Party) calls the fatal fire a terrible tragedy. One woman died and 30 people lost their homes.
– It’s a terrible tragedy. The thoughts go to those who have lost their homes and to the families who have been hit hard after a person died, Johansen says to Avisa Oslo.
– This happens at a time when you should be with family and have Christmas joy. We must hope that those who are now homeless, quickly find places where they can live, he continues.
15 of the people who are now without a roof over their heads were sent to the emergency room. In addition, three firefighters were injured in the fire in the nine-storey apartment block in Tokerudberget on the night before Christmas Day.
Fire Department: Held on until 3 p.m.
What made the firefighting work in Ål demanding was that the fire settled in the construction, says operations manager Bjørn Erik Bergmann.
Possibly it started on the porch, the duty manager for the 110 exchange told VG on Friday night.
– We were fairly quickly clarified that there were no people inside, and that they had come to safety, Bergmann says.
This allowed his crews to focus on preventing the spread to neighboring homes. Ten to fifteen pieces from the fire stations on Ål and Gol were in turn to get control of the flames.
Only at 03:00 on the night before the first day of Christmas was the main effort completed.
– The home is probably completely damaged, but there may be intact objects in the home, says Bergmann.
The councilor states on Saturday morning that the fire site has been closed. Only when the police have the opportunity to enter will they find out if there are any values left.
Several fires in the last 24 hours
These are the other fires VG has mentioned in the last 24 hours:
- Friday morning it started to burn in a detached house in Valdres. Two of the three who stayed there got out. The third is believed to have died.
- Saturday morning has a fire that started in a garage, spread to a residential house in Mo i Rana. Four people were evacuated, and there is no suspicion of personal injury.
- In Hamar municipality, the police are investigating a fire that started in a residential house just before midnight on Christmas Eve. Nine people were in the home, and all were accounted for. The house is uninhabitable, according to the fire department.
December is the most flammable month of the year, according to Tryg Forsikring. Christmas Eve in 2020 was the day of the year with the most fires.
26 fire incidents took place on Christmas Eve last year, while 81 occurred on Christmas Eve.
– Most fires start at the stove in the kitchen, and on Christmas Eve a lot of greasy Christmas food is prepared in the pots. Families gather and it is easy to forget the stove for a few seconds, says Torbjørn Brandeggen, communications consultant at Tryg Forsikring.
– For those affected by fire at Christmas, it is extra tragic, and we encourage everyone to exercise caution with special fire and candles, as well as never leave the kitchen while cooking.