NORWAY -- On Friday night the Mannheim State asylum center in Rjukan in Telemark is on fire. The building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At 22.15 there came a report of smoke at the reception center.
- The fire department is working on site to localize the fire. At eleven o'clock flames came out of the chimney, and some time later the building's fourth floor was ablaze, says Vidar Aaltvedt of the police.
He said that the fire department does not currently have the fire under control. Around 60 people live at the reception center, and are evacuated and accounted for.
Mayor Bjørn Sverre Birkeland says to VG, that the state, the county, the municipality and the Cultural Heritage Department was ready to renovate the building, which is currently used as an asylum center. The plan was to spend NOK 20 million to make Mannheim similar to what it was in 1916, the year when the building was completed. The work was supposed to start in January.
- The renovation will probably be far more extensive. Now we just have to see how serious the damages are, says Birkeland.
Mannheim was added to the UNESCO list in the summer of 2015.
With numerous asylum centres going up in flames across Europe, who came up with the brilliant idea of making an UNESCO World Heritage Site into an asylum center?
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