Derby Assembly Rooms Fire

A large fire at a multi-story car park next to Derby Assembly Rooms March 14 meant most of the UK city’s centre was closed off for several hours. 


Police Superintendent Gary Parkin said officers evacuated nearby buildings and asked people to be patient while they worked to get the city centre “back to normality as soon as possible.”

BBC News reported witnesses saying the “large, thick, black smoke” could be seen for miles.

“It spread really quickly. Within 10 minutes it was really alight and was sweeping across the whole building,” one bystander explained.

The local fire service believes the blaze started in the plant room on the top level of the park, and there was a danger of vehicles exploding and the blaze spreading to the neighbouring Assembly Rooms.

“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,” fire service area commander Gavin Tomlinson told The Derby Telegraph. “One of our main concerns was preventing it from spreading into the Assembly Rooms itself.”

BBC Radio Derby reporter Wesley Malin said burning debris could be seen falling from the car park.

That night’s show from dancer Anton Du Beke was canceled along with the weekend shows March 15-16.