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Austrian parliament's roof catches fire, damage limited

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VIENNA (Reuters) - The roof of Austria’s parliament building caught fire on Friday morning, probably due to a technical accident during work on its cooling system, but the blaze was quickly extinguished, nobody was hurt hurt and damage was limited, the fire service said.

Members of the public notified the fire brigade around 6.30 a.m. (0530 GMT) that smoke and flames were rising from the roof of the neo-classical building in central Vienna, a spokesman for the Vienna fire brigade said.

“Because we were on site so quickly and with so many forces we were able to extinguish the fire very quickly,” the spokesman said.

The 19th century building is due for renovation, but a spokeswoman for the parliament said no historical parts of the structure were damaged.

It was likely that material used during maintenance work on a tower on the roof housing equipment to keep the building cool caught fire by accident, she said. “It was not arson,” she said.

Replacing the tower would cost around 60,000 euros ($66,714).

($1 = 0.8994 euros)

Reporting by Francois Murphy and Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Richard Balmforth