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Arson damages Song Festival Grounds, one person hospitalized with burns

A fire started deliberately at the Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak) in Tallinn late Tuesday night resulted in one person being hospitalized for burns.

Rescue Board (Päästeamet) personnel were called to the festival grounds shortly before 11.30 p.m. Tuesday following reports of a fire in a stairwell under the grounds' main outdoor stage, known popularly as the singing arch (laulukaar).

The first responders found burning debris in the stairwell, with an individual attempting to extinguish the blaze having received burns. They were taken by ambulance to the North Estonian Regional Hospital (PERH).

Song festival arch fire damage. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The Rescue Board ascertained that the fire, which caused damage over a three by six-square-meter area, had been started deliberately, via security footage from cameras in the vicinity. The fire damaged the seating area immediately above it, as well as the wooden roof above.

The footage shows a young male intentionally setting fire to garbage underneath the stage, Urmo Saareoja, head of the song festival grounds, told BNS.

Song festival arch fire damage. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

"Fortunately, our security partner, G4S, and the Rescue Board, reacted quickly to the incident," he said.

Experts will assess the damage Wednesday and establish whether structural damage is such that repair work needs to be done.

The singing arch was refurbished last year.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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