The fish farm at Hlíð in Ólafsfjörður in north Iceland was destroyed in a fire yesterday. The fish processing and packing facilities are damaged beyond repair but a small portion of the fish which was kept in an adjacent building was saved.
From Ólafsfjörður. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
“It is extensive damage for my husband and I here at Hlíð; our jobs are gone,” Svanfríður Halldórsdóttir who runs the fish farm with her husband told Morgunblaðið. “We produced a fair amount of both salmon and Arctic char which we smoked and marinated.”
“We haven’t begun estimating the damage but it is pretty clear that the processing part was completely destroyed in the fire. The fire spread quickly and there was a breeze so everything was ablaze,” Svanfríður described.
“However, a small number of the Arctic char was saved because we grow the fish in tubs in the barn next to the processing plant. The fire safety doors saved them but some of the fish still perished. We’re not sure why—perhaps due to the heat or smoke inhalation,” Svanfríður speculated.
Svanfríður and her husband have lived in Hlíð for 40 years and the damage is therefore also emotional for them. “It is of course difficult to lose our operations like this and especially at our age. But fortunately no one was harmed and the house that we live in appears not to have been subjected to any damages.”
The couple is uncertain what they will do next. “Right now we are mostly weighing down loose iron after the fire to prevent it from causing damage; the forecast is for worsening weather conditions,” Svanfríður said.