Building ablaze in Egilsstaðir yesterday
A big commercial building in Egilsstaðir caught fire yesterday and within minutes the building was an inferno. Guðmundur Björnsson Hafþórsson, a fire inspector for Eastern Iceland, says that the fire spread fast. The building is comprised of two companies, Vaskur, a commercial laundry and a dry cleaner business, as well as a store that sells office supplies, musical instruments and various household items. In another connected building is Landsnet transmission system, which was probably safed by a literal firewall between the buildings. Fire was also burning in a car outside of the building.
Sigurður Aðalsteinsson, the local reporter for mbl.is, said it was shocking to see the building engulfed in flames. A dark cloud of smoke was seen over the town and sounds of explosions could be heard from the building. Witnesses say that the building was completely on fire within 10-20 minutes. All available fire fighters were called to the scene, both from Seyðisfjörður and the nearby communities of Egilsstaðir and Fjarðarbyggð.
"Don't think anyone was in danger"
People managed to run out of the building when the fire started so there were no people harmed. “We don’t think anyone was in danger because of the fire and the Fire Department was doing a great job extinguishing the fire,” says Kristján Ólafur Guðnason, Chief of Police in Eastern Iceland, who said that fire fighters managed to contain the fire so it did not spread to Landsnet.
Smoke lingering over the town
“We asked people in the community to keep their windows closed because of the smoke,” said Guðnason and adds that it is not possible yet to determine the cause of the fire.
Just before the evening the fire had been extinguished, but the Fire Department was still working making sure that no fire embers were still present. It looks like the building is completely destroyed, but the building housing Landsnet was safed from the fire.
Trying to contain the fire
Fire fighters took the roof off the building to make sure the fire did not have a way to travel over to the Landsnet building. There was a firewatch last night at the building and today some businesses will be closed because a lot of waterpumps are still on the road.
The police asks residents to be mindful in the vicinity of the scene and they stress that it is still being worked by the authorities.