When the supermarket goes up in flames
A fire ripped through the Kroger store in the eastern Swedish city of Gothenburg, destroying dozens of merchandise stalls and forcing hundreds of shoppers to flee the mall.
The blaze was extinguished by firefighters early on Sunday morning.
The flames broke out at around 4:30am local time (1330 GMT) at the store on the shopping street in the city centre.
About 400 people were inside the shopping centre at the time.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Local news outlet Sveriges Radio said it was unclear whether the fire was started by a cigarette but that it had taken more than 20 minutes for firefighters to get the blaze under control.
A spokesperson for the Krogreens chain said in a statement on its website that “we are deeply saddened by the loss of life and damage to the community”.
“We are working with the local authorities and local authorities are working closely with us to find out the cause of this fire and ensure that everyone is safe,” it added.
A fire that started at a store in Gothenberg on March 28, 2017.
Image: Kjell Eller The fire broke out in the same building as the main Kroger building in Gotheneburg, which is known for its huge display cases and shelves of books, according to Sverigs newspaper.
“There was smoke, and I heard the smoke,” said shop assistant Anna Sjogren.
“I started looking for my wallet and it was full of stuff,” she told Sverags newspaper.
The fire was extinguished and police were called.
A police spokesperson told the TT news agency the cause had yet to be determined, but police were looking into whether the store had been a target.
The area was under lockdown at the weekend, with police asking anyone with information to contact them.
In a statement, the Krogers said it would “support and cooperate with local authorities as we understand the damage caused by the fire”.
The store had closed on Friday night and reopened on Saturday.
Local media reported that the fire broke a fire alarm system.
“A fire started at the Krozers store in Gävle in Gothensberg.
It is under control,” a local fire official told local news outlet SvD.
“We don’t know how long the fire will last or how many people will be injured.”
According to local newspaper Aftonbladet, the fire at the grocery store happened just as the store was about to reopen for the first time in about two months.
A spokesman for Kroger, Dan Tønsberg, told Aftonsdag newspaper that “this is an ongoing incident and we are looking into what has happened”.
The spokesperson said that Kroger had not received any calls from the local fire department.
He added that Krozerras fire department would be “keeping an eye on the situation”.