DWP building fire: No significant damage detected, says council

Fire was "quickly put out" and there were no injuries, Blackpool Council confirms
Indicative photo of the office at Talbot Gateway. Photo: Blackpool Council

By Tevye Markson

28 Mar 2024

No significant damage has been detected and there are no injuries after a fire broke out at Department for Work and Pensions offices being constructed in Blackpool.

Blackpool Council confirmed that “everyone is safe and there are no casualties as a result of the fire”.

"The fire on the rooftop of the building was put out quickly and there doesn't appear to be any significant damage,” a spokesperson told CSW.

"The contractor will carry out a full assessment and provide a report over the next few days.”

Five fire engines were called to the £100m office block in central Blackpool just before 10.50am yesterday, Blackpool Gazette reported.

More than 3,000 DWP officials will move from Warbreck House and Ryscar House, both north of the town, to the £100m, seven-storey hub when it opens. 

Station manager Ben Marris, of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the fire “began in works on the roof and there is further investigation into how it started”.

"We were able to stop the initial fire from spreading after working with construction workers at the site to gain access,” he added.

"We are now using our aerial ladder platform, drone and hand-held thermal imaging camera to make sure there is no fire spread throughout the building. Our crews did an excellent job to get the fire out quickly."

He also confirmed there were no reports of injuries and that there did not appear to be "any significant damage".

Construction of the 215,000 sq ft building, which will be called the Blackpool Hub and Centre for Health and Disability Assessment, began in February 2023.

It was initially due to open this autumn but the date has since been pushed back to March 2025. However, just a week ago, the council said the works were “well ahead of schedule”.

The hub is part of a wider £350m redevelopment of the area that also includes a Holiday Inn hotel, a Marco Pierre White restaurant, a transport interchange and a “multiversity” campus.

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