– It is very sad when something like this happens, and when it first happens I am very relieved that no lives have been lost, says Skien mayor Hedda Foss Five to Dagbladet.
A number of suspicious fires are now being investigated in the city.
On 17 November, Gulset medical center burned to the ground, and on Wednesday morning the police reported that a 13-year-old girl has been charged with serious damage after the fire.
The girl is looked after by child protection and other agencies.
– Should it turn out that the fires were started by someone so young, it would of course be incredibly sad, says the mayor.
The police have found a video on the girl’s mobile phone which is supposed to show the fire.
– We have obtained video from her mobile, and it illuminates the sequence of events. It shows the time of the crime, and it shows the damage caused by the use of fire at the Gulset doctor’s office. And we have information that she was alone, says police attorney Julie Sandvik at the Sør-East police district to Telemarksavisa.
The police also suspect the girl of being, together with another girl of the same age, behind two other cases of damage involving fire at Gulset in Skien on 19 and 20 November.
The police specify at the same time that there is no reason to suspect the girl of having been involved in other fires in the center of Skien, the police report in a press release.
Since October, three other places in the city have also burned, according to TA.
A block of flats in the city center burned to the ground on 28 October. According to the newspaper, a teenager has been charged with using fireworks nearby, but the defender denies any connection.
According to the newspaper, a man in his 40s has been charged with arson after a trailer with rubbish caught fire in the center of Skien on 14 November. Also on 2 November, the emergency services responded to a fire at an entrance door in the city centre.
The fire service warned the residents of Skien on Monday to be on the lookout for the suspicious fires in the town.
They encouraged the residents to put rubbish bins far from the walls of their houses, and to remove flammable material along facades, according to NRK.
– If we have one or more arsonists in the municipality, it is inevitable that we make it as difficult for them as possible, says head of the preventive unit in the Skien fire service, Katrine Ånestad, to NRK.
Skien mayor Hedda Foss Five informs Dagbladet that the municipality is connected to the fire at the medical centre. Doctors and patients connected here have been given other places to stay.
– Beyond that, we are waiting for what comes to light in the investigation, she says.
She further states that the police usually contact the municipality if further measures are needed, and that this has not yet been done.