Two wounded and church destroyed in village blaze

A 12th century church in the village of Älvestad caught fire early on Thursday afternoon after a blaze in a nearby workshop began to spread.

One fireman sustained minor injuries when the roof of the church collapsed as he was standing on a nearby fire engine.

Video images captured by Östgöta Correspondenten show the fireman disappearing inside an enormous sea of fire created by the pressure from the collapsing roof. Before disappearing from view, however, the man can be seen crouching and pulling up his fire hose.

“He protected himself with water from the hose and only received minor burns. He is doing relatively well,” said fire chief Magnus Brodén.

A mechanic working inside the building received facial injuries when he was caught up in the fire.

Both injured parties have been sent to Linköping University Hospital for treatment.

The church and the building in which the workshop was located have both been completely destroyed by the fire in the village near Motala in eastern Sweden.

The church underwent major renovations in the 1750s, though parts of the building had been preserved from the 12th century. Many of the church’s fixtures were rescued from the blaze.