Fire breaks out near Wills Memorial Building Bristol

January 6th, 20187:45 pm @

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  • Blaze broke out in Fry Building due to re-open as new maths block this spring
  • Nearby buildings were evacuated but no one was believed to be inside 
  • Smoke can be seen dominating Bristol’s skyline as helicopters battle flames  

Lara Keay For Mailonline

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A huge fire has broken out at Bristol University’s new maths building, which was undergoing a multimillion pound investment.

The blaze broke out on the top floor of the Fry Building, a Grade II-listed facility that was in the process of being upgraded as part of a £33million renovation.  

No one was believed to be inside when the flames started just after 5pm this evening and there are no reports of any injuries. 

Surrounding roads have been closed and the nearby Wills Memorial Building, designed by esteemed British architect Sir George Oatley, has been evacuated.

 The blaze (pictured) broke out in the Fry Building, a Grade II-listed facility that was in the process of being upgraded as part of a £33million renovation

 The blaze (pictured) broke out in the Fry Building, a Grade II-listed facility that was in the process of being upgraded as part of a £33million renovation

Fire crews are pictured trying to tackle flames at the university building in central Bristol 

Fire crews are pictured trying to tackle flames at the university building in central Bristol 

Giant ladders and pumping machines are pictured trying to put out the flames 

Giant ladders and pumping machines are pictured trying to put out the flames 

 No one was believed to be inside when the flames broke out but nearby buildings were evacuated 

 No one was believed to be inside when the flames broke out but nearby buildings were evacuated 

Helicopters are being used by emergency services to guide jets of water being shot at the inferno 

Helicopters are being used by emergency services to guide jets of water being shot at the inferno 

A spokesman for the University of Bristol confirmed the fire started in the Fry building, saying: ‘Nobody was in there as far as we are aware.’   

The university Twitter account posted: ‘We’re aware of an ongoing fire in our Fry Building, which is currently being refurbished. 

‘Everyone’s accounted for. More updates when we have them.’  

Avon Fire and Rescue Service sent seven fire engines and 40 firefighters from across Bristol and Bath, along with two turntable ladders and pumping machines, to the scene on the university campus, located between Woodland Road and University Road. 

A spokesman said the fire does not appear to have spread to other floors or surrounding buildings, which were also unoccupied. 

Helicopters are being used by emergency services to guide jets of water being shot at the inferno. 

Hundreds of students, residents and visitors lined the streets to watch. 

A spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘There are no reports of any injuries in stage. There are no hazardous materials involved.

‘The building is a university building which is under refurbishment. There was no persons in the building at the time of the fire. Crews are working to extinguish the fire.

‘The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage however we will be investigating.’

They wrote earlier on Twitter: ‘Thoughts with crews dealing with incident in Bristol right now.

‘Hopefully not as bad as it seems. Plz give crews room to work be patient if delayed’.  

Tim Collins wrote on Twitter: ‘Bristol Uni fire looks pretty insane at the moment. I really do hope everyone is okay up there.’

Bobby Mason added: ‘Looks like a big fire in Bristol somewhere near Park Street. Hope everyone is OK #BristolFire’.

Emergency services have closed surrounding roads while fire crews take on the flames  

Emergency services have closed surrounding roads while fire crews take on the flames  

Fire engines are pictured surrounding the Bristol University Fry Building this evening 

Fire engines are pictured surrounding the Bristol University Fry Building this evening 

Smoke is pictured covering the streets of central Bristol after the fire broke out this evening 

Smoke is pictured covering the streets of central Bristol after the fire broke out this evening 

The Fry Building (pictured) was to re-open as the new home for the university's school of mathematics this spring and included lecture theatres, teaching rooms, quiet study areas and social spaces

The Fry Building (pictured) was to re-open as the new home for the university’s school of mathematics this spring and included lecture theatres, teaching rooms, quiet study areas and social spaces

University Professor Gary Foster added: ‘Patchy news at the moment but looks like massive fire in our old building, the Fry building, at Bristol Uni. 

‘Building being totally refurbished for Maths. Devastating.’    

The Fry Building was to re-open as the new home for the university’s school of mathematics this spring and included lecture theatres, teaching rooms, quiet study areas and social spaces.

New additions to the historic building were to include an atrium linking to a new 140-seat lecture theatre with a roof garden above. 


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