“It’s very probable that this is a case of arson… A fire broke out in exactly the same spot the day before, but was discovered quickly and was easily brought under control,” local police spokesman Lars Hansson told AFP.
The fire started just after 1:00 am (2300 GMT on Monday) in the CH restaurant and quickly spread to the adjoining Scandic hotel, according to police.
All 142 residents of the hotel were evacuated, as were about 25 residents of a nearby apartment building.
“Four people were taken to the hospital suffering from smoke inhalation, including a 10-year-old child, but none of them were seriously injured. One person remains in hospital for observation,” Hansson said, adding that the fire was still raging.
“It is very difficult and it is not under control. The firefighters thought they had brought the fire under control earlier, but then it picked up speed again,” he said, adding that several fire departments from surrounding communities had been called in to help put out the blaze. AFP