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Fire 'disaster' for music industry

The music industry is counting the cost of the riots after numerous record labels saw their CD stocks wiped out in a warehouse fire.

Leading companies such as XL and Domino - who are behind acts including Adele and Arctic Monkeys - are among those which used the destroyed distribution hub in Enfield, north London.

Around 40 firefighters were involved in tackling the blaze at the Sony DADC warehouse which erupted in flames early this morning.

The 20,000 sq m (215,000 sq ft) centre is used to store CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and discs used for PlayStation Portable games. It is also a major warehouse for stocks of indie labels which are distributed from there by the PIAS Entertainment Group.

Alison Wenham, who chairs the Association of Independent Music, said: "This is a disaster for the music community, but with the fans' help, labels and artists will survive."

One witness claimed to have seen a number of looters leaving the warehouse with items before the blaze took hold.

Guests at a Premier Inn hotel next door to the distribution centre were evacuated as the fire raged.

Sony said in a statement: "At this time we are unable to confirm the extent of the damage or the cause until the fire is fully extinguished and a full investigation can be carried out by the authorities."

Domino Records - the leading indie label behind acts such as Franz Ferdinand - said today that it had lost a "large quantity" of CD and vinyl stock.

The new Arctic Monkeys single, The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala, is among the releases which will be affected by the incident, with only a reduced number of vinyl copies available when it is out on Monday.

A Domino spokeswoman said: "While relieved that no-one was injured in the incident, we're upset about the loss and destruction of our stock, and thinking of our friends at other independent labels who were also affected by the fire."

"We are currently working hard with Sony DADC to maintain our release schedule and keep business going as usual."

Nick Hartley, PIAS's chief operating officer, said the group was "liaising with both Sony DADC and all of our labels to put the necessary plans in place".