Art And Culture

Battersea Arts Centre on Fire, People in Tears

Battersea Arts Centre on Fire, People in TearsBattersea Arts Centre on Fire, People in Tears

Around 80 firefighters tackled a major blaze that ripped through an arts centre in south London on Friday (March 13).

The fire service said it tried to save as much of the grade two-listed building as possible, but devastated locals could be seen in the street crying as firefighters fought to control the flames at the centre, Sky News reported.

Over a dozen fire engines, with over 80 firefighters, were at the scene as thick clouds of black smoke were sent billowing into the sky. The blaze tore through the roof with many officers being hoisted into the air on extendable ladders to douse the flames from above. It also affected part of the building, which was being refurbished.

A few hours later, the blaze was brought under control. It is not known what caused the fire. Earlier, residents were urged to close their doors and windows as a precaution because of the large amount of smoke.

Following the fire, the centre confirmed that everyone had got out of the building safely but at least one person was treated for smoke inhalation.

Paul Foxcroft, 35, a comedian, was walking from his home in Battersea when he saw flames tear through the venue’s bell tower.

He said: “It is an institution for the whole of the city of London. It is hugely popular so this fire will affect a lot of people. The back of the building was being renovated.”

The centre cancelled Friday night’s performances along with a performance on Saturday evening.

The Battersea Arts Centre is a performance space in London that specializes in theatre productions. It was founded in 1980 in a Grade II listed building which originally opened in 1893 as Battersea Town Hall. The building was designed in 1891. The space was converted to a community arts centre in 1974.

BAC operates a “scratch” methodology as part of its “ladder of development” for new work. Performances are shown at various stages of development to an outside audience, whose input and criticism guides the further evolution of the work.