Derby Assembly Rooms fire: Parts of city closed off as firefighters tackle major blaze
Friday 14 March 2014
A large fire ripped through a car park in Derby this evening, forcing firefighters to close off parts of the city centre amid reports of falling debris.
The blaze, which was said to be producing “large, thick, black plumes of smoke” at its height, started on the top floor of the city’s live venue, the Assembly Rooms.
Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke had been due to perform at the venue, but the show was cancelled as fire crews fought to bring the flames under control.
Derbyshire Fire Service cordoned off the area and eyewitnesses suggested that at one stage debris could be seen falling from the multi-storey car park.
Gavin Tomlinson, fire service area commander, said: "The fire spread very, very quickly and it was extremely difficult to deal with as it was not safe to go in and physically put it out."
Earlier, Derbyshire Police said they had widened the cordon with the danger of vehicles in the car park "exploding".
Pete Meakin, from Derby Live, said performances over the weekend had also been cancelled: "Fortunately we know everyone got out of the Assembly Rooms building and we are now ringing around the audiences to make sure they don't come into the city centre."
Will Hives, 36, who lives nearby, was in a restaurant when he noticed the smoke, and told the BBC: "You couldn't see flames at first, just plumes of black smoke.
"It spread really quickly. Within 10 minutes it was really alight and was sweeping across the whole building."
- 1 Katie Hopkins questioned by police over allegations of inciting racial hatred after migrants article
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
- 4 Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-diver missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
- 5 US bookshop offers Go Set A Watchman refunds over false marketing as 'nice summer novel'
Indian train crash: Dozens dead after two derailments within minutes of each other in heavy floods
Katie Hopkins questioned by police over allegations of inciting racial hatred after migrants article
Jackie Chan in second place in Forbes' Highest Paid Actors list after magazine includes actors working outside US movie industry
Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-diver missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Jeremy Corbyn: Tony Blair could face war crimes trial over 'illegal Iraq invasion'
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
£24000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprenticeship Tutor Assessors ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This organization has been a trusted partner t...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity has ar...
£40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity working ...