Czech firefighters are on the scene today at the historic Na Tokání cottages in the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, which were reported to be ablaze early this morning.
A third degree of fire alarm was declared, and dozens of firefighters and a aerial firefighting helicopter have helped to extinguish the blaze. The cottages are “practically burned down” at this time, according to the reports on the scene.
The cause of the blaze is currently unknown.
“This morning, our hunters received information from locals that they saw smoke rising from the forest,” Bohemian Switzerland National Park spokesperson Tomáš Salov told iDnes.cz.
“They went on patrol and found that the historic buildings of the Na Tokání hunting lodges were burning. Both cottages, which are registered cultural monuments, are practically completely burnt down at the moment.”
The game reserve at Na Tokání dates back to the 1780s. In the 1830s, lodges at the reserve were constructed under owner Prince Rudolf Kinský, but these burned down in 1905.
The cottages were constructed in their current form during the 1930s.
“The buildings are interesting in that they look like log cabins, but they are mostly brick-paneled brick buildings,” Antonín Kadlec from the National Monuments Institute told CTK.
“Unfortunately, this can also be seen in the charred torso, as the walls and chimneys protrude.”
Next week, conservationists will visit the scene to assess the damages and document what remains of the buildings.
“This is a great loss,” Kadlec added.
“This type of construction is unparalleled in the region.”
Under private ownership, the cottages had until recently been used for accommodation and restaurant services.