Fire forces 12 to move out of apartments early Monday morning; second early-morning incident in two days


A fire in an apartment building on Vei 232 shortly before 4 a.m. Monday forced 12 residents to evacuate the building for about 12 hours while officials investigated the incident. The cause remains undetermined and the National Criminal Investigation Service is scheduled to investigate the matter Tuesday.

“All residents were told that the building is evacuated and no one has been injured,” Police Chief Lt. Vidar Arnesen told Svalbardposten shortly after the fire was extinguished. “There were flames in a storage room in the building, but the fire was quickly extinguished by the fire department.”

The fire in the first-floor storage room didn’t cause significant exterior damage, although numerous items from the room were piled outside the building’s entrance and police tape was strung around the perimeter. Residents were housed at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel before being allowed back home late Monday afternoon.

A second early-morning incident occurred at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday due a pizza burning in an oven in an apartment in the center of town. A 20-year-old woman in the apartment who was awake is being fined 6,500 kroner for the firefighter’s response, and police are determining if charges and subsequent fine are appropriate.