At 2:20 am the Snæfellsnesbær Fire Department was dispatched to the man’s residence, a detached wooden house.Snæfellsnes. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The Fire Department sent two smoke divers into the thick smoke to the second floor where they found the man unconscious. A physician and a rescue helicopter were called to the scene. Rescuers attempted to resuscitate the man but upon arrival at the local clinic he was pronounced dead. The man was in his late thirties and lived alone, mbl.is reports.
According to Chief Constable Ólafur Guðmundsson in Ólafsvík, smoke from the fire spread inside the house and the temperature soared. Firemen successfully extinguished the fire but the house is damaged from smoke and soot.
The population of the small town of Ólafsvík numbers at approximately 1,020 inhabitants, and a community that size is bound to feel the loss of one of their own. “People are understandably distraught in a community this size,” Ragnheiður Karítas Pétursdóttir, a priest in the local parish, told mbl.is.
The local emergency services rarely deal with such incidents and as members of a close-knit community where locals are often bound by bonds of family and life-long friendship, the loss of a fellow citizen under such tragic circumstances is felt by all.
For that reason, Rev. Pétursdóttir, has called for grief counseling for those involved in the operation.
The local police force has requested assistance from the forensic science department of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police in investigating the cause of the fire.