From Iceland — One In Custody For Major Fire Downtown

One In Custody For Major Fire Downtown

Published March 9, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

One person is in custody in connection with a major fire which broke out in east Reykjavík Monday evening.

The fire broke out last Monday at around 20:00 at a workshop on Gréttisgata. Despite the rain that poured over Reykjavík that evening, eyewitnesses reported heavy smoke from the burning building. The smell of rubber was so powerful that nearby residents were advised to keep their windows closed.

RÚV now reports that one person is in custody in connection with the blaze. The location of a second suspect is known, police say, but they have as yet not brought them in for questioning.

The fire has raised numerous questions. No one knows how the fire broke out – the building is unstable, and in danger of collapsing, so investigations have not yet been conducted. Police also have not ruled out that more than two people could have been involved in the fire, but would not disclose what part the current person is custody may have played.

Fortunately, no one was severely injured or killed in the blaze. However, the building did house the art gallery Gallerí Verkstæði, and three artists have reportedly lost everything in the fire. As such, a benefit event is to be held at the bar Húrra on March 31. Those unable to attend can also lend their support via donations, which can be submitted via the bank account information provided in the event details.

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