A blaze at a concert venue in Derby may have spread because the building was poorly designed and maintained, according to a draft report.
The fire in March 2014 caused severe smoke damage to the Assembly Rooms which has not yet reopened its doors to the public.
Council ‘not entirely happy’ with report
The venue is run by Derby City Council and its acting chief executive, Paul Robinson, says it is unhappy with some of the contents of the report.
The report claims there were holes in the firewalls inside the building and they may have caused the fire to spread
unexpectedly. Mr Robinson says the venue is 38 years old and such buildings often have historic problems like this.
Fire safety consultants BB7 also highlighted problems with the building’s ventilation and the presence of polystyrene, which is a flammable material.
The consultants said it was lucky that the fire started on top of the car park and not in another part of the building, which may have been harder for the fire brigade to gain access to.
BB7 says the building can be used as a concert venue again once work to improve it is finished.
Flames reached 40ft high
The blaze produced a huge plume of black smoke, which was visible around Derby even after the fire was extinguished. The fire brigade needed 75 firefighters and 16 engines to put it out. At its height the fire sent flames 40ft high into the sky.
Experts found the fire was caused by overheating machinery in the air conditioning unit that was situated in the car park.
The council is claiming £5.5 million in insurance and the report is now in the hands of the insurance company involved, Mr Robinson says.
He adds that a settlement is currently being negotiated and no concerns have been evident in the talks so far.
Source: BBC News
Date Published: February 24, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown