The alarm over the fire at the carbon dioxide plant in Gröndal in Lilleholmen, southern Stockholm, arrived on Friday at 11 p.m.
A large flame erupts from the building, which is a former industrial building of an older type.
– We have launched a preliminary investigation into the arson to get a chance for investigative measures, police spokesman Ola Österling told TT on Saturday at 21-30.
– People were seen outside the address according to our incident report, he continues.
The area is considered a crime scene, but Österling estimates it could take three to four days before it gets cold enough for technicians to move around the site and conduct an investigation.
As early as Saturday morning, police announced that a preliminary investigation had been launched into the arson, due to “circumstances at the scene.”
The smoke was spreading
During Saturday night, smoke spread to large parts of Stockholm and intensive firefighting work is underway. The rescue service was on the spot with 16 units, about 40-45 rescue service employees. KBV (Kustbevakningen), Sjöräddningssällskapet, police and ambulance also assisted in the work.
On Saturday morning, the fire was brought under control – but the factory was destroyed.
“It was a complete fire and the roof collapsed,” said Jesper Westling of Räddningscentralen Mitta.
The work of the rescue service continued throughout Saturday, and during the evening they have a car set up to check that the fire is not spreading or that it is not re-igniting.
– We do not do active work on the spot, but we monitor and we will be there all night, says operator Henrik Jynnesjö at 9 pm in TT.
– Smoke is still developing on the site and it is difficult to do anything about it.
The reason why the rescue service no longer uses water is that hazardous substances enter Lake Mälaren directly with fire-fighting water.
– We have booms in the water to collect polluted water with oils and the like, but not everything can be collected there, says Jynnesjö.
TT: How long can smoke development take?
– I don’t know, but let’s say until two more days.
“Heard a bang”
During large parts of the night the flames could be seen through the upper floor of the building. It was clear early on that it could not be saved, and firefighters set it on fire in a controlled manner, focusing on protecting nearby buildings.
– First we heard a bang, and then later we saw a flame coming. They were then high above the roof of the building and it was an incredibly strong fire, said witness Erik Lindwall, who was at the nearby Gröndal boat club.
The head of the rescue issued the so-called MMA, an important message to the public, in which everyone nearby is invited to enter closed rooms, close doors, windows and ventilation due to possible poisonous smoke.
The warning message was withdrawn at five o’clock in the morning.