Northern lights over the town of Kulusuk. This is a picture I took from the school last November. The house that burned down is the one we see on the hill.
I just received the following letter from a friend in Kulusuk, the little hunting village on the east coast of Greenland I have told you about before.
Two hours ago, at 5:30 am, I woke up to the noice of the towns fire alarm. Since at this moment we are having the fiercest snow storm, that started at midnight and has been howling and raging all night long, the alarm may have gone off earlier than I heard it.
Through a tiny little hole in the snow that otherwise completely covers my bedroom window, I could see the flames in the direction of "The Blue Mansion", my old little blue house. For the time being, I couldn't open the front door, as 1,5 meters (3 feet) of snow had piled up blocking it. I called my colleague Henrik who lives next door and he put on ten layers of clothing and crawled over to my house and managed to dig away enough of the snow so that I could make it outside. Between the wildest gusts that almost threw us to the ground and pressed the air out of our lungs, we could through the blowing snow see how the flames spread to the rest of the house.
The house, which Henrik has with his hard work and determination renovated into the schools music building, was filled with nice instruments, mixers, amplifiers and speakers, things that fonds and individuals alike had donated to the children and are enthusiasticly used every single day since Henrik started it up. In the basement layed Susanne's splendid kayak. If the concrete floor managed to keep it out of harms way I'll first now when the storm tonight, according to forecasts, will pass.
I am completely shocked and miserable because of the fire. Of course I am happy I wasn't living there anymore, but very concerned over all the instruments the children loved so much and had spent so many hours to learn to play, and are now lost.
I just got a call from my boss Lars-Peter who told me only two of the towns fire men, Joel and Buuto had made it to the house. The rest had been forced to turn back only a few meters from their homes as the storm was too fierce. There wasn't much Joel and Buuto could do alone against the fire and the storm so they fought their way back to Lars-Peter's house where they are now seaking shelter until it is safe to go outside again.
It is a tragedy that has struck the school, since it is the children who are going to bear the loss. If any of you, who all have been to Kulusuk and know what life is like here, have any idea on how we can overcome this, I'll be happy to hear your suggestions.
With all the best wishes from a very shocked and shaken
I have seen the hard work under difficult conditions these teachers unselfishly provide to make the most of what they can offer the children of Kulusuk and it is sad to see it all go up in flames. I hope they will not loose their spirit but manage to rebuild it with the help of good willed people.
I will add some photos if I can get any after the storm has passed.
UPDATE: I just got photos from the ruins in Kulusuk:
UPDATE March 11th: Here are a few pictures of the house burning that Lars-Peter Sterling took, the schools headmaster who lives next door. Due to the snow storm, no fire engines of any kind could make it to the house and there was nothing that could be done to stop the fire.