At 3.30 am tonight, the Capital District Fire and Rescue Service was notified of a fire in Vesturvör 36 in Kópavogur, RÚV reports. The building, which is roughly 3,000 m2, houses the Hamar machine shop, the Freyja chocolate factory, and boat manufacturer Rafnar, among others. All units were dispatched, among them off-duty firefighters.
In an interview with RÚV earlier this morning, Vernharð Guðnason, a divisional manager with the Fire and Rescue Service, stated that good progress had been made: “We’re still endeavouring to put out a few minor flames, but all of the major fires have been extinguished, and the firefighting, generally speaking, went exceptionally well.”
According to Vernharð, conditions were quite dangerous: “Yes, certainly. This is the kind of operation (Hamar machine shop) with a lot of gas tanks and welding equipment, along with a certain kind of fuel, and there is also a plastics factory in one section of the building. So, yes, the conditions were quite dangerous initially.”
Vernharð added that a large part of the building was unscathed. “It’s mainly one company that suffered the most damages, and they are significant,” Vernharð stated, referring to the Hamar machine shop.
In an interview with Vísir, Kári Pálsson, owner of Hamar, said that watching the company burn was a great shock. “The heart of the company is gone,” Kári said, adding that this morning he had begun looking for another building in the area from which to conduct the company’s operations. Other companies offered to help.
Hamar, which has been in operations since 1998, operates a total of five sites in Hafnarfjörður, Grundartangi, Akureyri, Eskifirði, and in Kópavogur, the latter of which being the biggest. Approximately 60 people work in Hamar’s shop in Kópavogur. Kári stated that the company was insured and that it was a great relief that no one was injured.