Whitchurch Sports Centre: Fire service issues statement as homes are evacuated
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Homes are being evacuated close to a major fire at the former Whitchurch Sports Centre. Emergency services were called to the centre, which closed during the Covid pandemic, just before 10am today (August 9).
A dozen crews from Avon Fire and Rescue Service are at the scene extinguishing the blaze, while police have closed off Bamfield from Whitchurch Lane to Briery Leaze Road. People have also been urged to keep windows closed, and to avoid the area.
The centre has been boarded up previously by Bristol City Council, but Bristol World is aware of reports of break-ins involving young people at the site over the summer. The fire service was called to a fire in the locality just two weeks ago.
It is not clear how the fire started - and the focus of the building blaze is currently to put it out. As part of the operation, people living in nearby Paddock Garden have been avactuated from their households by police.
In a statement, Avon Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are currently responding to an ongoing incident at Whitchurch Sports Centre. We have 12 appliances on the scene from Temple, Kingswood, Bedminster, Bath, Southmead, Avonmouth, Patchway and Weston- Super-Mare. We advise locals to keep windows closed and to avoid the area.
“We are joined at the scene by Avon and Somerset Police colleagues and road closures are in place along Bamfield, between the junction with Whitchurch Lane and Briery Leaze Road. Please avoid the area if you can.”
An Avon and Somerset Police spokesperson said: “We are supporting Avon Fire and Rescue Service with an ongoing fire at the old Whitchurch Sports Centre, in Bamfield, Bristol, today (Wednesday 9 August) at around 10am,” a statement said.
“Officers have put road closures in place along Bamfield between the junction with Whitchurch Lane and Briery Leaze Road. We are also evacuating households in Paddock Garden. Fire is advising all residents to keep their windows closed and to avoid the area.”
For live updates on the fire, click here.