Laerdal Norway's Historic Wooden Buildings Destroyed by Fire

Tuesday, 21 Jan 2014 09:00 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A fire ripped through the historic town of Laerdal in Norway over the weekend, injuring an estimated 100 people and destroying the village's signature wooden buildings.

The blaze sparked Saturday night and quickly swept through the area, annihilating at least 30 of the picturesque 18th- and 19th-century structures, many of which were historic monuments, according to the BBC.

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With help from farmers and other residents, officials were able to extinguish the fire by Sunday afternoon.

"There were a lot of heroes in Laerdal that night," Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a Norwegian TV station. "I want to say a big thank you to all those who fought to bring the situation under control."

An estimated 100 people were transported to a nearby hospital to be checked or treated for smoke inhalation, the BBC reported.

It's not yet clear what caused the fire.

The preserved wooden houses and buildings make the town in western Norway a tourist attraction.

"The cottages in Laerdal are quintessentially Norwegian, the type that could inspire a thousand fairy tales," the BBC's Anna Holligan wrote. "Their beams sag, heaving as the centuries pass. These aging beauties attract thousands of tourists to this small village on the Western Fjords every year."

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