Police to investigate fire in abandoned building in Rīga

An inspection has been launched by the State Police concerning the fire on January 2 in the abandoned giant art nouveau building in Rīga, Brīvības Street, Latvian Television found out at the police.

State Police said there was currently no evidence of arson in the case.

At the same time, it is known that Rīga municipality ordered the owner to sort out the building four years ago. On February 27, 2019, Riga City Council instructed the owner to eliminate identified hazards and to carry out the full tidying of the building.

The decision was challenged and suspended pending trial. The proceedings ended in December 2023, with the court declaring the issued decision well-founded and legal.

The owner complied with the obligations relating to the prevention of hazards, namely the removal of architectural elements that have lost the external structure and the removal of the plaster. The obligations related to the full arrangement of the building have been fulfilled only partially – a construction intention has been submitted to the building authority.

In December 2023, the Rīga City Council Department of Property sent a warning to the addressee about the commencement of the enforcement proceedings of the decision, and the imposition of a fine. The first executive order on the fine will be sent in January. The owner of the building is a legal person, so the fine will be capped at EUR 10,000. This will be achieved gradually by increasing with each subsequent penalty.

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