Emergency services in Oslo responded to multiple car fires in the Norwegian capital city last night. One eye-witness reports from the scene of one the incidents.
Oslo Police Department were called out to two fires on the East side of Oslo in the early hours of this morning, the first at Lutvann. The Police confirmed on Twitter that three vehicles were ablaze, but at the time were unsure of the cause.
However, mere hours later and mere minutes away on nearby Haugerudveien – another fire broke out. This time witnesses confirmed that they had seen suspects lighting the fires and running away on foot, which posits the question; were both incidents cases of arson?
Eye-witness video and report
I was on the scene to watch the events unfold at the Haugerudveien fire soon after it broke out.
Before the emergency services arrived, the fire had grown to such an extent that countless explosions began to occur, flaming debris was shooting from the cars with such ferocity that it was as loud as gunfire.
The police were quick to the scene and cordoned off the area in what I assume was an effort to ensure that pedestrians weren’t caught in the numerous mini-explosions.
A few minutes later, they were joined by the fire department who immediately sprung into action in an effort to tackle the blaze. I looked on as firefighters fought to put out the flames, as clouds of black smoke billowed higher than the adjacent twelve storey buildings.
Concerned neighbours began to congregate at a safe distance as firefighters battled the inferno, and only saw any real progress once they were hooked up to the mains hydrant.
At 6.33 am the fire was extinguished, and the police set out taking photos and gathering evidence at the scene, soon after, tow trucks arrived to remove the burnt remains of the seven vehicles involved.
A cleanup crew was dispatched and set to work clearing debris, and ensuring that the road was once again usable, they completed their work at approximately 11.30 am.
What the Oslo Police say
The Twitter account for Oslo Police operations kept people up to speed with the operation. At 6.01am they tweeted:
Mye røyk i området. Folk anbefales og holde vinduer lukket. Brannen er påsatt. Vitner sett personer på stedet som har tent på. Løpt fra stedet. Politiet søker etter disse personene.
— OPS Politiet Oslo (@oslopolitiops) April 5, 2020
The tweet warns local residents to stay inside with doors and windows shut due to the high amounts of smoke. It also confirms that they are searching for people seen running from the scene.
It is not the first time cars have been burned in Oslo. As recently as Wednesday night last week, three cars were discovered in flames at Bogerud. Police are currently on an assumption that the two fires last night are related, but say it's “too early to say” if there is a connection with the fires on Wednesday night.