A large fire has damaged part of the idyllic Austrian lakeside town of Hallstatt. Tourists have been warned to steer clear while the cleanup commences.

At least four buildings were heavily damaged by a fire in the Austrian tourist town of Hallstatt on Saturday. A fire broke out in a wooden hut and then spread to a shed and two residential buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town.
“Since Hallstatt is very tightly built, the adjacent houses are also badly damaged,” Johannes Pichler, a volunteer firefighter in Hallstatt.

A firefighter was injured while responding to the fire, but the residents got away safely. 8 fire trucks and 109 firefighters were on hand to tackle the blaze.
The fire broke out at about 3:30 a.m. (0230 UTC). The cause was still being investigated. Hallstatt is one of Austria’s most popular tourist destinations, with more than 1 million visitors each year. On some days, up to 10,000 people visit the town.

The town mayor warned tourists not to visit in the aftermath of the fire to allow the investigation and cleanup to proceed without interference. The road into Hallstatt remained closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

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