Fire destroys 23 buildings in historical Norway village
Flames destroy houses in the village of Laerdal, Norway, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. (AP / NTB Scanpix, Arne Veum)
Published Sunday, January 19, 2014 8:17AM EST
STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Officials say a large fire has blazed through a historical village famous for its well-preserved wooden houses from the 18th and 19th centuries, destroying at least 23 buildings.
The municipality of Laerdal, in western Norway, said in a statement Sunday that 52 people have been hospitalized with light injuries and hundreds had been evacuated from their homes.
It said the fire burnt down 16 homes, as well as industrial buildings, community centres and holiday homes. It also destroyed at least three buildings in the protected area of the village of Laerdalsoyri.
It wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire, which started Saturday night and quickly spread, exacerbated by strong winds.