Fire destroys Copenhagen's historic Old Stock Exchange as residents race to save treasures

Flames in Copenhagen engulfed one of the best-known buildings in Denmark, known as the city's Old Stock Exchange, on Tuesday; the collapse of its spire brought images of the 2019 blaze at Paris' Notre-Dame and strangers united to save cultural artifacts.

"We are saving everything we possibly can," Jakob Vedsted Andersen, the Copenhagen fire department chief, told reporters, according to Reuters.

There are no immediate reports of injuries, but people, from emergency services, the Danish Chamber of Commerce, and its employees and random pedestrians were seen carrying out historic paintings out of the burning building in an attempt to save the artifacts from being burned.

According to its post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Denmark's National Museum sent 25 employees to the burning building so they can help remove cultural artifacts and paintings, it said on X.

"We are at the Stock Exchange (and more colleagues are on their way - 25 in total), where we are evacuating cultural objects, including paintings, looking at the damage and having them transported safely from there and stored safely," states its post.

What happened at Copenhagen's Old Stock Exchange?

The spire, which is shaped as the tail of four dragons twirled together, was under renovation when the fire broke out, at 7:30 a.m. local time, Tuesday morning, the Washington Post reported

The area was surrounded by scaffolding.

According to Vedsted, the fire spread throughout several floors of the historic building, and parts of the roof collapsed.

Around 120 people worked to put out the fire, but only 40% was under control, said the chief.

Contributing: Reuters

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fire destroys Copenhagen's Old Stock Exchange as spire collapses