Uncertainty over The Hydro opening after blaze

Dozens of firefighters tackled flames at Scotland's newest event space, The Hydro, on Saturday (8 June).

Picture by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue
Picture by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue

Forty firefighters were called to the 12,000-seater arena at 3.20pm on Saturday, where they were faced with a fire in the roof space of the £125m venue, which is still under construction.

Owners of The Hydro, which is part of the Scottish Exhibiton and Conference Centre in Glasgow, are unsure as to the impact of the blaze on the venue’s opening, scheduled for September with a concert by Rod Stewart.

John Sharkey, SECC chief executive, said: "Our contractor, Lend Lease, is on site and working today – they will be starting an assessment of the damage caused and a full structural assessment of the building.

"We expect it will be at least a week before the full implications for the programme are worked through and we are then advised of the impact on the completion date.

"Apologies for the uncertainty but we want to be absolutely sure that all issues arising from yesterday are fully resolved so that the opening is safe, secure and delivers the world class venue which we all want. As soon as we know more, we’ll let you know.

Sharkey added: "We’re so happy no-one was hurt and a huge thank you to Strathclyde Fire and Rescue."

John Rae, group commander of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said that the actions of the first crews to attend the venue prevented the fire spreading more rapidly. 

"Fires within the roof space of any building gives major problems to firefighters, especially in terms of access and this was a new building under construction with an unusual design," he said.

Rae added that the early introduction of the special high reach appliances to tackle the fire played a major part in limiting the effects of the fire.

An investigation into the cause of the fire in conjunction with Police Scotland is underway.

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