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SEnine
NEWS
EEltham Centre Fireltham Centre Fire
The award-winning
before 11pm. At its most intense, 40
firefighters from Eltham, Plumstead,
Eltham Centre faces Lee Green, Old Kent Road, Forest Hill,
months of closure
Greenwich, Sidcup and Bromley were in
attendance.
following a serious fire at
One fire officer told SEnine: “The
midnight on building has suffered crippling internal
St Valentine’s Day.
injuries even if its exterior hardly looks
affected.”
The 
leisure facilities could be
The High Street was cordoned off for
shut for a prolonged period
traffic as smoke billowed from the
after a four hour fire which started in an
Centre’s roof. Fire services were initially
electrical room under the stairs at the
alerted by the Centre’s sophisticated fire
rear of the building and then spread to
alarm system.
the roof through trunking.
Complete destruction of the Centre was
Our local firefighters had to crash their
prevented only by extensive firewalling
way through the centre’s windows and
doors to gain access, only to find the
fire was so severe it required assistance
from other stations.
Fire investigators are currently looking
into the causes of the blaze and whether
Substantial damage has been caused
there could be any links to a heating
to the electrical systems of the Centre
breakdown during the previous week.
which could take months to replace,
raising the possibility that the swimming
A spokesman for Greenwich Council
pool might not open until the summer.
said: “The fire containment mechanisms
worked well and contained the
The centre was opened in 2007 at a cost
damage, ensuring that the building
of more than £20m and has won many
itself remains unharmed, however there
awards for its cross-cutting community
was extensive damage to the electrical
facilities, uniting sports, cultural and
systems.
council facilities. It forms a model for
larger developments in both Woolwich,
“We are working hard to restore services
currently under construction, and in
at the Centre as soon as we can.”
West Greenwich on the former hospital
site.
A council spokesperson said "Residents
are reminded that they
Photo by Danielle Murphy can carry out their
transactions online at
which contained the fierce blaze and
www.greenwich.gov.uk
left the public areas untouched apart
by calling
from smoke damage.
020 8854 8888 or by
visiting the Riverside
It’s hoped the library will be opened
Centre on Woolwich
early with temporary heating and be
High Street.
able to accommodate the council’s
service centre.
Further information
will be provided on
Engines from eight stations across
our website as updates
south east London rushed to the Centre
become available."
after the alert was first sounded shortly
Photo by John Kennett
Take
All that is nec
an interest in loc
essar
al ev
y for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
ents
.
35
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