Smoking Slovak children burn down castle

BRATISLAVA Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:33pm EDT

The Krasna Horka castle is seen on fire in the village of Krasnohorske Podhradie near Roznava, eastern Slovakia March 10, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

The Krasna Horka castle is seen on fire in the village of Krasnohorske Podhradie near Roznava, eastern Slovakia March 10, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Two Slovak children were suspected of burning down a large gothic castle in eastern Slovakia when their experimentation with smoking went wrong, police said on Sunday.

Police were investigating two boys on suspicion that they set grass at the foot of the Krasna Horka castle on fire on Saturday when they tried to light up cigarettes, said Jana Mesarova, police spokeswoman for the eastern Slovak region of Kosice. Children under the age of 15 cannot be prosecuted in Slovakia.

"A unit sent to the site found that two local boys aged 11 and 12 were trying to light up a cigarette and because of careless use of safety matches, they set grass at the castle hill on fire," Mesarova said.

The castle subsequently caught fire and emergency services deployed 84 firefighters to the scene.

The Slovak National Museum wrote on its Facebook page that damage to the castle was extensive but about 90 percent of historical collections were saved, including contemporary photographs of furnished castle premises from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, oil paintings and various ornaments.

"The castle's roof burned down completely, as well as the new exhibition in the gothic palace and the bell tower. Three bells melted," the museum said.

The castle, near the UNESCO-protected Domica Cave, dates back to the early 14th century.

(Reporting by Martin Santa and Jan Lopatka; Editing by Karolina Tagaris)

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Comments (4)
pyronius wrote:
On the plus side that’s two children who will never be tempted to smoke ever again…

Mar 12, 2012 3:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ChrisMarrion wrote:
Very sad nice to lose this piece of cultural heritage and the collections that it housed, particularly after surviving for so many centuries. A lot can be done with regards to protecting our cultural heritage (museums, libraries, historic buildings, etc.) including providing smoke detectors to detect a fire early on, sprinklers to suppress fires w/limited need for manual intervention, and notification to get the emergency responders there as quickly as possible. Fire Prevention measures go a long way ( as well in helping prevent ignition and limiting the size of a fire. Hazard assessments and development of prevention and mitigation measures should include assessing those inside buildings (old electrical wiring, lighting, candles, etc.) as well as those hazards outside and the need to manage wildfires, trees/shrubs/grasslands, campfires, lightning, etc. A lot has been learned from wildfires on a global basis ie keeping safe separation distances between trees/shrubs/grasslands from structures we are trying to protect to suppression systems to protect combustible roof structures as they do in Japan to help protect their heritage. Chris Marrion/Fire Strategist/NY

Mar 12, 2012 4:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MetalHead8 wrote:
Someones grounded for life

Mar 13, 2012 3:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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