By: Moja Dolenjska, STA
From the night of Monday to Tuesday, a fire broke out in Kranj under Jelenov klanec on the edge of the city centre. The Majdič mill burned down, and around 70 nearby residents were evacuated due to the danger. The building was destroyed, one of the neighbouring apartments and several vehicles were damaged. Today, the online portal Požareport revealed who owns the building and what is already being said in Kranj.
According to STA, the fire was detected by the police, 133 firefighters extinguished the fire, the building with an area of approximately 1,800 square meters and protected by a monument was completely burnt down. In the immediate vicinity of the burning building, a part of the Gorenjske elektrarne hydroelectric plant was damaged on the Sava River. The material damage is great.
The owner of the Majdič mill is the company Naš mlin, storitve in gradnje, Ltd., which is owned by Marko and Eva Odlazek and Sebastjan Zupanec. Marko Odlazek is the brother of the significantly more famous garbage-media tycoon Martin Odlazek. The brothers were also connected with the first controversial deals (companies Krater, Eurofit, and Salomon). Then Martin supposedly paid out his brother Marko, who is now mainly involved in real estate.
Sebastjan Zupanc is the director of the Chamber of Communal Economy at the Chamber of Commerce of Slovenia and former director of Komunale Tržič, when Borut Sajovic was the mayor of Tržič, now head of the parliamentary group of the Gibanje Svoboda party. “And so, the traces of this company also lead to Robert Golob’s party.”
Many in Kranj are now firmly convinced that the fire was started and that the Majdič mill burned down so that a new financially profitable residential and commercial building could grow on the ruins of this historic building, said Požar. The Majdič mill is (was) under the protection of cultural heritage and the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage did not just let it be demolished, so “the police and insurance companies still have a lot of work to do”.
Požar also stated that this is not the first time that a fire has occurred in connection with the business of the Odlazek family. He cited the fire in the warehouse and waste sorting plant in Lenart in April 2019.
We would also like to remind you of the large waste fire in the area of Zalog near Novo mesto. Who was there behind the scenes has not yet been publicly revealed.
STA: After the fire, the fate of the destroyed Majdič mill in Kranj is still unknown
After the fire that destroyed the Majdić mill in Kranj on Tuesday night, it is not yet clear what will happen to the completely destroyed facility. The building, which is protected as a cultural monument, was empty for several decades, during which time it also changed several owners, who had different plans for the property.
As one of the current owners of the building, Sebastijan Zupanc, who together with Eva Odlazek is listed as the founder and director of the company Naš mlin, explained to STA, the building was bought with the aim of revitalisation and conversion into a multi-residential building. Before the purchase, the possibility of this was also checked at the Kranj unit of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia.
To implement the plans, the owners founded the project company Naš mlin and transferred the property to it. However, according to Zupanac, due to the anticipated financial crisis and the anticipated high interest rates for credit lines that would be used to finance the renovation, the facility was put on the market in the summer months.
It is not yet clear what they will do with the property after the fire. “For any further steps and predictions of what to do with the facility, it is premature at this moment,” Zupanc pointed out. According to him, it will be necessary to wait for the conclusions of the investigation and the evaluations of experts in the construction statics profession to determine what possibilities there are.
They do not yet have an estimate of the damage caused by the fire, but it will certainly run into millions, Zupanc emphasised. The fire completely destroyed the 150-year-old building. The interior of the building, which was practically entirely wooden, burned down, leaving only the walls. As there is a risk of the building collapsing, Jelenov klanec in Kranj is closed to traffic until further notice.
The Majdič mill, which started operating in the second half of the 19th century, was the first major company in Kranj. As recorded in the cultural heritage register, it was a typical industrial plant and was converted eleven times until it was abandoned in 1922.
The building was later used as a warehouse by Kranj’s companies, and for several decades the building was empty and changed several owners, with the heirs of industrialist Demetro Majdič and Marija Majdič still demanding its return.
The hydroelectric power plant, which the Majdič family added to the building in 1929, was still in operation after renovations. In the fire, however, the power plant, which is owned by Elektro Gorenjska, was so destroyed that it will not be able to operate until the comprehensive rehabilitation that the company has already announced.
In the case of the fire in Kranj, the investigation so far does not indicate a criminal act
Today, criminal investigators are continuing the investigation of the fire in which the Majdič mill in Kranj burned down on Tuesday night. The cause of the fire is not yet known, and the reports collected so far do not indicate the commission of a crime, the Kranj Police Administration announced.
As they explained, they have so far carried out a detailed inspection of the surroundings and also a certain part of the interior of the building. They also conducted several interviews. However, they continue to examine in detail all the circumstances of the fire and look for evidence and clues to clarify its cause.
The police detected the fire on Monday at 11:30 p.m. and are asking witnesses who have any information about what may have happened before that hour in the area of Majdič mlin to report it to emergency number 113 or to the anonymous police phone number 080 1200.
Until now, it is known that the fire started inside the building, and the fire quickly spread from the inside to the entire abandoned building, the interior of which was entirely wooden.
The police detected the fire when they were conducting a regular inspection of the area, and at that time the fire was already fully developed. The police did not notice anyone in the area, but they immediately started informing citizens, stopping traffic, evacuating, and other activities to protect life and property.
As the Kranj Police Administration warned, the facility is dangerous. Therefore, staying in its area is still prohibited. Jelenov klanec is still closed from the middle to the roundabout, and the direction from the railway station to the roundabout remains closed as well. In the reverse direction from the direction of Planina along Savska road towards the railway station, traffic is one-way.