Firefighters save Koko following blaze at iconic London venue

The venue is currently undergoing refurbishment

Firefighters remain at the scene in Camden after a blaze broke out at the iconic London venue Koko last night (January 6).

After being called at 8:56pm, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) sent eight fire engines and 60 firefighters to tackle the fire at the venue, which is currently undergoing refurbishment. The fire was declared to be under control at 2:37am this morning.

After initially reporting last night that 30% of the roof was alight, the LFB have this morning (January 7) confirmed that part of Koko’s roof has indeed been damaged by the fire — but the rest of the building has been saved.

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“Firefighters’ quick action and hard work in the early stages meant the fire was contained to the roof and saved the rest of the building,” station Commander Jon Lewis said. “Fire crews will remain at the scene throughout the morning.”

The LFB added that the cause of the fire is not known at this stage. There have also not been any reports of any injuries.

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The legendary London venue has been closed since March 2019 to undergo a £40 million refurbishment. It had been intended that Koko would re-open in the spring.

Having first opened in 1900 as a theatre venue, the building was last refurbished in 2004 after closing its doors as the Camden Palace in February of that year. It then re-opened in 2005 under the KOKO name. The new building work intended to create six new performances areas and introduce a radio station and broadcast station.

KOKO
KOKO

A small number of restaurants and shops will also be introduced as part of the David Archer-led rebuild, which will take over nearby buildings and also expand the rooftop.

“This isn’t just about offering a music venue. In the Camden spirit of independence, auteurship and eccentricity, we want to offer an unrivalled experience,” said KOKO’s owner Olly Bengough before the refurbishment work. “London is a forward-facing city. Where we lead, the world follows and we have to move with it. We’re protecting the culture, helping Camden and London.”

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