The historic church on Grímsey island, North Iceland, was burned to the ground in a fire yesterday, Vísir reports. While no people were injured in the fire, it was not possible to save any items from inside the church. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Named Miðgarðakirkja, the church on Grímsey was built out of driftwood in 1867. In 1932, it was moved further away from the neighbouring farm due to risk of fire and a tower and choir loft were built on to the structure. The church underwent extensive renovations in 1956 and was reconsecrated that year. The renovation included wood carvings made by Deacon Einar Einarsson both on the outside and inside of the building. Miðgarðakirkja was protected in 1990.
While the cause of the fire remains unknown, Henning Henningsson, one of Grímsey’s two firefighters, suspects it was an electrical fire. “It was an old electrical panel and there is little else that comes to mind.”
Grímsey island is the northernmost point of Iceland and has 67 inhabitants.
Update: An earlier version of this post included a photo of another church.