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Mansions by Albert Hall Ablaze

Feb 19 2007 15:47
Ashley Brown
Part of the top floor of the Albert Hall Mansions is ablaze, sending smoke billowing across the Royal Albert Hall.
The fire still appears to be spreading

First published at 11:48 on 19th Feb 2007 and updated during the day.

Fire engines as far as the eye can see, working overnight

A large emergency services presence is back in South Kensington after a fire broke out in the mansions adjacent to the Royal Albert Hall. A cloud of smoke and fine mist can be seen drifting northwards across the park as over 100 firefighters attempt to tackle the blaze. At the time of writing it seems to be worsening.

Fire appliances were arriving for several hours, with over 30 vehicles at the scene including over 20 fire engines, turntable ladders, a forensics unit and London Ambulance Service rapid response vehicles. The corner of the building closest to the park is affected, with smoke pouring out of several windows. A helicopter later arrived on the scene - their infrared cameras are sometimes used by firecrews to identify hotspots within a burning building.

The view from the roof of Beit

The buildings in the area house some student residences mixed with other private accomodation, with the southern side of an adjacent block having a large student flat with five rooms.

Sirens can be heard every few minutes as new vehicles arrive to replace crews which have been on the scene for several hours. The BBC is reporting that no-one has been hurt.

The building in question, Albert Court, houses a number of fine artworks, so salvage operations have been underway throughout the day. The affected side of the building was in the middle of a refurbishment, with scaffolding surrounding it and the roof missing. At one point crews were moving gas cylinders away from the fire, however at present some still remain.

Prince Consort Road is closed to traffic to allow access by emergency vehicles, but is currently lined on both sides by Fire Engines. Imperial's own fire engine is safely tucked up in the garage.

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Fire crews tackle the blaze

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Discussion about “Mansions by Albert Hall Ablaze”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Feb 19 2007 14:13
 

so if the fire came from the top floor, and students live on the top floor, was it imperialites that torched the place? would be interesting to find out!

2. worse   
Feb 19 2007 14:36
 

its gotten much worse in the last 30 minutes!

3. dwm   
Feb 19 2007 15:02
 

Some confusion - the student residences that I know about are actually in a different building. (The one on the island in the middle.)

4. fresh   
Feb 19 2007 15:09
 

nah there's student flats in all all the buildings, i know of people living in the basement in the affected building. i think theres even some on the ground floor (richie bitchies)..

no confusion dwm

Feb 19 2007 15:29
 

According to the Evening Standard website the flat where the fire started is "believed to belong to a Middle Eastern businessman".

But that may well be speculation at this stage.

Feb 19 2007 15:43
 

"middle eastern businessman"-if it turns out not to be, one could speculate as to why they made that up and not "white female television producer from canada".....

Feb 19 2007 22:59
 

wassup - it might be that a "white female television producer from canada" probably couldn't afford to live on the top floor of Albert Court. Or it could be that the people who live next door the burnt flat told reporters that the occupants spend half the year in Saudi Arabia!

Feb 20 2007 10:25
 

your first comment was racist, sexist and rude.

your second was probably correct.

Feb 20 2007 14:51
 

That first comment was only as racist, sexist and rude as wassup was implying with his original comment.

Feb 20 2007 15:07
 

That is the most absurd thing i have ever heard. the first statement was not at all racist etc, it was meant in disgruntlement at the BBC or whoever reported that.

What "To wassup" wrote was flat out sexist and racist. To imply that a white female from Canada cannot afford to live on the top floor of Albert Court is wrong.

What "to "to "to wassup""" wrote shows a sense of stupidity

enough with the quotations, youre wrong and dumb anyways. you must be from kings ;)

11. jess   
Feb 20 2007 16:47
 

actually i think it more implied that a television producer wouldn't be able to afford to live on the top floor of AHM which in my opinion, is probably true

white, female, canada were all, it seems, in reference to the "middle-eastern businessman" comment

you people really are Rediculous

12. Jess2   
Feb 20 2007 18:56
 

I think Jess has got it right, on all counts!

Feb 21 2007 07:57
 

What is the latest update on the fire? Has there been much damage to the lower floors? Am interested as I used to live in Albert Court.

Feb 21 2007 09:25
 

Latest from the London Fire Brigade:

"At the height of the fire, thirty appliances and around 150 firefghters were needed to fight the fierce blaze which is believed to have started in a fifth floor flat. The fire has damaged parts of the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the six storey building and aprroximately a third of the roof."

Part of the damage was due to fire, apparently some ceilings have collapsed under the weight of water they had to pump in.

Feb 21 2007 09:41
 

huh? why wouldnt a television producer be able to afford the flat? from the little i know, which is obviously more than you, some of them earn quite a lot more than the lower 6 figures required to rent a flat up there..but oh well, jess has got to rant about something, as always, right!

16. jess2   
Feb 21 2007 16:55
 

you spelled "rediculous" wrong. idiot

17. jess   
Feb 21 2007 17:41
 

re: rediculous, irony is lost on people here! love it.

secondly, i work in tv (when i am employed), so probably actually know more than you do about what producers earn, and it's probably between £1000-£1500 a week, ie, not in the "lower 6 figures required to rent a flat up there"

and yes, i'm out of work right now, and have been for a WHOLE WEEK, so have nothing better to do than hackbait. soz.

Feb 22 2007 16:20
 

£1000-£1500 a week...my girlfriend doing graphic design at al jazeera earned more in her first year...

and if that weren't enough...her brother earns CONSIDERABLY more. irony? i think not. he's a producer. you probably stacked things on shelves and couldn't imagine that anyone could earn more than 10 times your salary.

sorry, mate. but go back to your studies

19. jess   
Feb 22 2007 18:56
 

RE: rediculous,

er, the REDICULOUS was irony, it was LIVE! irony, and me and my mates get it, so shut up -a your face.

shelf stackers work in a supermarket, petal, not in television

is your girlfriend's brother a television producer? PACT/BECTU say the rates are negotiable for producers but if you look at their rate card: http://www.bectu.org.uk/info/docs/download/free/pactrates2006.pdf if even the production manager can't expect more than about £800 for a 40 hour week (and that's more than they recommend) i sincerely doubt a producer will be earning more than double that.

A discussion on a well-known industry (subscription only, soz) website also suggest that producers should expect to earn between £1000-£1500 a week.

If you really think I don't know what sort of salary I can expect to be earning should I make it in my chosen career, you obviously don't know me.

I interjected with what I believe to be facts to help settle the argument, not for you to abuse me and tell me that I don't know the value of my own job.

You sir, are a berk

And for the record, I know EXACTLY what berk means

Mar 09 2007 18:41
 

i was there at the scene of the fire and there were well over 40 fire appliances and it was so smokey u couldnt breath.first i thought it was a bonfire as i was aproaching it on the bus but when i got closer it got smokyer and about 10 fire engines rushed past me.we went past the fire and there were abulances fire engines medical cars breathing units and tv van. It was scary and it was like there was another terorist attack.

21. alice   
Apr 02 2007 10:04
 

What actually was the damage to lower floors? Particularly the second floor large corner flat?

Apr 02 2007 13:19
 

The LFB didn't say, but I presume water damage and a collapsed ceiling given how much water they had to pump in. Having said that, the day after the fire there were sheets hanging out of windows in that area for airing, so it looks like some of the surrounding flats were still inhabitable.

Apr 02 2007 13:25
 

Or habitable?

24. alice   
Apr 02 2007 17:41
 

It seems to me that the whole section of the building must have suffered from such a huge quantity of water. I lived a couple floors down for many years. All the decorative ceilings regularly fissured and fell in chunks because of underlying metal beam construction. We had to restore one of them entirely when we moved in. The plaster was rotten from former water damage, apparently slight! Hard to imagine what this ceiling looks like now! These flats seem so solid, but water regularly poured from one to the next after plumbing "disorders". So much for Albert Court's reputation of being the "safest building in London"...maybe in terms of burglary...This whole thing rather spooks me. Feel v. sorry for the people who bought our flat not long ago.

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