Fire ravages Copenhagen's 17th century Stock Exchange building

Fire ravages Copenhagen's 17th century Stock Exchange building
Images source: © PAP | PAP/EPA/Ida Marie Odgaard

5:18 PM EDT, April 16, 2024

Copenhagen's historic Stock Exchange building, a 17th-century landmark, is engulfed in flames, and its iconic spire has collapsed.

The Old Stock Exchange, one of Copenhagen's oldest structures, built in 1625, caught fire shortly after 1 AM Eastern Time. The building was under renovation when the flames, first spotted in the attic, quickly spread throughout the entire structure. Firefighters have subdued the external flames, but the fire lingers.

"We are battling the fire on all levels. It spread through the elevator shaft to all floors," reported Frank Trier Mikkelsen, the firefighting chief, during an interview with Danish TV2. "Part of the copper roof has collapsed, further fueling the fire. Currently, half of the building is affected", he added.

Fire in Copenhagen. Historic stock exchange roof collapses

The cause of the fire remains unknown. Emergency services and workers have been seen evacuating priceless artworks from within. The Danish Minister of Culture, Jakob Engel-Schmidt, responded to the devastation on social media, saying, "Terrifying images from the Børsen this morning. 400 years of Danish cultural heritage in flames." He also noted the community's effort to salvage the heritage: "It's heartening to see Børsen employees, courageous emergency services, and the people of Copenhagen come together to rescue art treasures and iconic paintings from the inferno."

Online videos capture the moment the building's distinctive 184-foot-tall 'dragon spire,' adorned with four intertwined dragon tails, crumbled. This spire was a celebrated symbol of Copenhagen.

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