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Mon Aug 24, 2020, 12:09 PM

Iconic bread factory gutted in devastating fire in northern Sweden

Polarbröd (our favourite everyday bread here)

The factory of one of Sweden's most well-known bread producers burned to the ground in the early hours of Monday.


Residents in Älvsbyn west of Luleå in northern Sweden were told to stay indoors and close doors, windows and ventilation due to a risk of poisonous gas rising from the burned-out factory. "There's a cooling system (in the factory) that runs on ammonia gas, it's a poisonous gas which is harmful to breathe," Daniel Granberg, fire and rescue control room officer, told the TT news agency.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at the Polarbröd factory at around 11.30pm on Sunday and spent the night fighting the flames. The flames had more or less been extinguished by Monday morning and no one was injured, but the factory was completely destroyed in the inferno.

The fire is said to have started on a conveyor belt, after a lump of bread caught fire in an oven. "We tried to put it out by hand but it was impossible. Eventually it wasn't possible to stay, so all we could do was go outside and wait for the fire services," an employee told the NSD newspaper. All roads to Älvsbyn were closed on Monday morning to all but emergency transports, and trains between Jörn and Boden were halted. Schools were closed, and the municipality called to a crisis meeting.

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