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Giant goat-cheese fire closes Norwegian roadway for six days

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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Brunost, a highly flammable Norwegian delicacy (Wikicommons)

This may be the cheesiest story you’ll read all day—literally. That’s because 27 metric tons of flaming goat cheese burned inside a Norwegian road tunnel, closing nearly two miles of the road for six days.

Brunost, a Norwegian cheese considered a delicacy, was being shipped in a truck that caught fire. No one was hurt in the incident, which firefighters were finally able to put out on Monday.

"This high concentration of fat and sugar is almost like petrol if it gets hot enough," Viggo Berg, a policeman, told Reuters.

As the website Nordic Nibbler explains, brunost is not technically a traditional cheese. It is made from the whey of goat’s milk and can contain up to 30 percent fat. It is described as having a “slightly salty and surprisingly sweet flavor with a hint of goat about it.”

The BBC reported that the truck’s driver noticed the cheese had caught fire and was forced to abandon the truck about 300 feet from the tunnel’s exit. Toxic fumes emanating from the smoldering brown cheese kept firefighters at bay for several days before they could attempt to extinguish the flames.

"I didn't know that brown cheese burns so well," added Kjell Bjoern Vinje, an official with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

Had the fire occurred in the U.S., officials could have looked to Pennsylvania for help, where they spent Monday dealing with a giant soda spill that shut down a stretch of highway when hundreds of gallons of the soft drink froze on the road.

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