Boys, not bombs, destroy historic church

A 116 year-old Norwegian church, which survived a bombing in WWII, has been burnt beyond repair by two boys playing with a cigarette lighter.

The Rørvik Church in Nord-Trøndelag, central Norway, went up in flames last Saturday night shortly after two young boys were seen in the area.

“It was therefore possible to find them quickly and question them with their parents present,” Lars Letnes, operations leader for the Nord-Trøndelag Police District, told news bureau NTB.

The sparky duo admitted starting the fire by accident when playing with a lighter in the church’s cellar. It is thought the blaze spread particularly quickly as the beams were insulated with sawdust.

Built in 1896, the church was refurbished after being badly damaged in a Nazi bombing in WWII. Although some treasures were saved as the flames engulfed the pews, officials say much of the structure will have to be completely rebuilt.

“It’s a sad day for the community here,” Reinert Eidshaug, mayor of the Vikna township told NTB. “A lot of history was tied to the church.”