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Investigation begins after major fire destroys department store, boat yard

The blaze caused over €1 million worth of damage in the southwestern municipality of Kimitoön.

Räddningverket släcker en brand i varuhuset Hurrikaani som avger stora mängder rök.
The fire destroyed the Hurrikaani department store on Kimito island on Monday. Image: Amanda Vikman / Yle

A fire at a commercial building in the island municipality of Kimitoön is estimated to have caused damage of up to one million euros.

The fire broke out at the building in the centre of the town of Kimito on Tuesday afternoon, destroying the Hurrikaani department store and the Kimito Boat Centre. One person was injured in the fire.

"At most, 38 rescue units were on the scene, ranging from fire engines to command vehicles and special vehicles. In all, about a hundred people extinguished the fire," said Sebastian Holm, on-duty chief of the Southwest Finland Rescue Department.

Story continues after photo.

Räddningverket släcker en brand i varuhuset Hurrikaani som avger stora mängder rök.
The fire generated a large smoke plume. Image: Amanda Vikman / Yle
"There is still one rescue unit on the scene this morning for follow-up. The unit is keeping an eye on the fire to make sure it does not reignite," Holm said.

Bystander Christel Laaksonen told Yle Svenska that she tried to help rescue items from the stricken building.

"We tried to empty the building, save what we could and make sure that the fire did not spread," she said.

Story continues after photo.

En kvinna i grå t-skjorta står framför varuhuset Hurrikaani som brinner i Kimitoön.
Christel Laaksonen said she helped as she has experience of fire and rescue work. Image: Amanda Vikman / Yle
Ben Lindström of the Kimito Boat Centre told Yle the company tried to save as many boats as possible.

"We didn't get all the boats out, some small ones were left in the outdoor storage. Plus offices and the like were destroyed in the fire," he said.

Despite the loss of the Boat Centre's offices, Lindström said the boats that were saved would still be delivered to customers.

"I don't yet know where we will go to work tomorrow, but we will probably find a solution," he said.

Story continues after photo.

En man i solglasögon och en grå collegetröja står framför en båt.
Ben Lindström Image: Amanda Vikman / Yle

Investigation starts Wednesday

While the cause of the fire is still unknown, the local fire department believes it started inside the Hurrikaani department store.

"The building was 3,500 square metres in size. When the fire brigade arrived, there was smoke in the building and we saw that the roof structure was on fire.

"The former building had been extended several times, so the extinguishing work on the roof structure was very challenging. The fire brigade put out the fire and at the same time we tried to limit the progress of the fire. The end result was that the building was almost completely burnt down," Holm told Yle.

The official investigation into the cause of the fire began on Wednesday and is expected to last several weeks.

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