University of Nottingham fire: Multi-million pound chemistry lab destroyed in blaze

Scores of firefighters battle flames after they being called to the university’s Jubilee campus on Friday evening

Callum Paton
Saturday 13 September 2014 16:05
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Flames stretch into the sky above the University of Nottingham's Jubilee campus
Flames stretch into the sky above the University of Nottingham's Jubilee campus

A massive fire has ripped through a multi-million pound chemistry building at the University of Nottingham throwing burning debris rocketing into the sky, which could be seen for miles around.

Scores of firefighters battled the flames for several hours, after they were called to the university’s Jubilee campus in Radford shortly after 8.30pm on Friday. No-one was injured and no other buildings were affected as fire crews fought to gain control of the fire while it raged around the nearly completed, timber-framed building.

Nottingham Fire and Rescue group manager Joanne Wooler-Ward said: “No other buildings have been affected, fortunately no people were involved in this fire and we've had 12 crews here, that's over 60 firefighters.

“Credit to those firefighters who pulled out all the stops to prevent this fire spreading.

“When we arrived, the fire was a significant size - it could be seen from quite a distance - and there was a smoke plume spreading towards the campus area so we sent out a message for people to keep doors and windows closed.

“The firefighters have worked hard to contain that fire and stop it from spreading to any other buildings.

“Members of the public might have been quite alarmed when they heard a loud bang that some thought was an explosion - that's something that happens to buildings when they're exposed to extreme heat and pressure but that's a risk that we manage and are trained to deal with.”

Firefighters battle the blaze in Radford

Firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control at around 1am today but crews were to remain overnight to fully extinguish it, with an investigation into the cause likely to follow.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue added: “The building was under construction, it was not in use and was about 70% complete. We have around 60 firefighters on the ground and using aerial platforms.

“We are likely to be here for some time into the morning.

"Work to establish the cause of the blaze can only begin fully once the fire is entirely out.“

Dr Paul Greatrix, registrar at the University of Nottingham said: “Firefighters are currently on site dealing with a major fire at our GSK sustainable chemistry building on Jubilee Campus.

“Thankfully, there have been no casualties as this is a building that was still under construction.

“Our number one priority is to ensure that the fire does not spread to other buildings in the vicinity and we are grateful to the fire teams on site who have worked extremely hard to contain the blaze.”

Dr Greatrix added the university's open day for prospective students today was still going to go ahead.

The building was partly funded by a £12 million grant from

GlaxoSmithKline in 2012 to establish a sustainable chemistry laboratory and was due to be completed by 2015, according the the University of Nottingham website.

Additional reporting by PA

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