The owners and operators of Koko have spoken out after a fire tore through the iconic London venue last night (January 6).
Just before 9pm, dramatic scenes saw eight fire engines and 60 firefighters attend to tackle the fire at the venue, which is currently undergoing refurbishment. While 30% of the roof was ablaze at one point, it was confirmed by 3am that the fire had been controlled and the rest of the venue had been – albeit apparently heavily damaged.
— Jiannis Georgiadis (@jgeorgiad) January 6, 2020
“We are deeply saddened by the fire that took place at Koko last night and pleased to announce there have been no casualties,” said venue owner Olly Bengough in a statement. “We want to thank the London Fire Brigade for its quick response and how well it handled the situation.
He continued: “The amount of support we have received from the public has been amazing and we’ll be doing our best to get the redevelopment of this iconic building back on-track.”
A statement then followed from Koko’s Twitter account, thanking the emergency services for their efforts and stating that “our beloved venue is still standing”.
They added: “We will be back with an official statement once we have had time to properly assess the consequences of the fire.”
The whole team at KOKO are incredibly grateful for the swift action of the London Fire Brigade #LFB helping to contain the fire;our beloved KOKO is still standing ❤️.We will be back with an official statement once we have had time to properly assess the consequences of the fire pic.twitter.com/fC8hrUsH9B
— KOKO (@KOKOLondon) January 7, 2020
Koko has been closed since March 2019 to undergo a £40 million refurbishment. It had been intended that the venue 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.
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.
It has not been revealed yet much the damage will set back the venue’s re-opening.