Saturday 18 August 2007

Large fire at Fredensborg Palace averted by tourist

A fire in a large garage behind the Chancellery House at Fredensborg Palace where the Crown Prince and his family live was stopped after a Swedish tourist raised the alarm on Friday afternoon around 4pm. The fire was caused by a short circuit in an electric golf cart which was charging in the garage at the time.

Thanks to the alert Swedish tourist the fire didn't develop into a large fire at Fredensborg Palace. The golf cart was being charged in a large garage, which is situated behind the Chancellery House in the palace estate. This is the home of Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik. The Crown Prince is currently regent for his mother, who is on holidays.

According to the local police in Helsingør, a spark probably occurred in the afternoon causing a short circuit which ignited the car. The smoke was seen by a Swedish tourist who happened to be going past at the time. He raised the alarm on his mobile phone and informed the palace staff. A palace police officer got a dry-powder extinguisher which contained the fire sufficiently that he could push the cart out of the garage. In the meantime the fire service came with the sirens sounding and extinguished the last sparks.

The garage has space for 14 cars, but is used as a workshop and also contains fuel and wood which is used in the palace. The fire might have erupted violently if it wasn't for the quick action.
Jyllands Posten
Berlingske Tidende

From the local radio website, the fire occured on Friday afternoon a little after 4:00pm in 'the wood shed' at Fredensborg Palace.

Some alert tourists prevented a big fire at Fredensborg Slot on Friday afternoon. It was the old wood barn which is just beside the Crown Prince and Crown Princess's home that was close to going up in flames.

An electric car which stood in the shed was probably the cause of the fire, in the same area as a fair amount of oil and petrol were stored.

Some Swedish tourists saw smoke and could smell that there something was amiss. They contacted the staff at the palace, who immediately attended to fighting the fire, and North Zealand's fire fighting service attended to help immediately afterwards.

If the fire had started during the night, stored petrol and oil would very quickly have contributed to a bigger explosion, with a catastrophic effect on the neighbouring buildings. The closest buildings are garages for the royal house's car fleet.

That did not happen, and nothing is interrupted for the many tourists who visit Fredensborg.

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