An abandoned house in a deteriorating state on Hverfisgata in central Reykjavík was set on fire on Sunday evening. The Capital District Fire and Rescue Services (SHS) believe that there are 11 such buildings in the area and try to make sure that no one enters them.
Reykjavík. Photo: Dagbjört Oddný Matthíasdóttir/Iceland Review.
“This house was already ruined. No one lives there. The police tell me that people enter it on occasion,” duty officer at SHS Árni Ómar Árnason told ruv.is.
The windows of the house had been nailed shut. However, it appears that rubbish had been stacked in its hallway, which was then set aflame. The house was vacant when the firefighters arrived but there was significant fire.
“For several years we have patrolled these buildings and guaranteed in collaboration with owners that they remain closed,” added Bjarni Kjartansson, manager of the SHS accident prevention division. “If there are signs that people have entered the buildings there is not much else to do but make sure they are vacant and lock them up again.”
Abandoned buildings in central Reykjavík increased during the boom years; before the banking collapse in 2008, 57 buildings were left deteriorating in the heart of the capital, Bjarni estimated. Some of these have since been demolished and others renovated.