Figures from the worlds of music, entertainment and politics have registered their shock at the fire which ravaged beloved 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 Camden venue, which is currently undergoing refurbishment. The fire was declared to be under control at 2:37am this morning (January 7).
The LFB confirmed that the roof of the venue has been damaged by fire, but the rest of the building has been saved. There were no casualties in the blaze.
The fast action and hard work of firefighters contained the #Camden nightclub fire to the roof of the building. Fire crews will remain at the scene throughout the day https://t.co/PkzjrSqAy6 pic.twitter.com/5v1hw5Ozks
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) January 7, 2020
“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,” the owners of Koko said in a statement this morning.
Among those to respond to news of last night’s fire was DJ and producer Erol Alkan, who tweeted last night to register his dismay at the fire while also recalling some of his earliest clubbing experiences at Koko.
Some of my first Dj sets were there, I was given the warm up in the main room .. so many memories from then and even before, amongst my first clubbing experiences
— erol alkan (@erolalkan) January 6, 2020
— Stephen Holt (@StephenEHolt) January 6, 2020
American Gods author Neil Gaiman shared some of his fond Koko memories as he sent “love and worried wishes” to the venue and the LFB.
Sending love and worried Wishes to Koko's & to the fire brigade. I saw Lou Reed there when it was the Camden Palace. I fell in love with my wife backstage. I did the Time Warp with Richard O'Brien there while mourning a just-dead friend. All the memories.https://t.co/TxHIqEGzxF
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 7, 2020
— Music Venue Trust (@musicvenuetrust) January 7, 2020
London Mayor Sadiq Khan praised the “tireless” work of London’s firefighters in tackling the blaze in a tweet earlier this morning. Labour councillor in the Kentish Town ward and Camden Borough council leader Georgia Gould said that seeing the blaze taking hold of Koko last night was “heartbreaking”.
Their quick response to get the fire under control meant the fire was contained to the roof of the building.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 7, 2020
Heartbreaking watching the Camden Palace / Koko up in flames this evening, a building that holds so many memories and means so much to us in Camden. Incredible how quickly @LondonFire got under control, we owe them so much for their swift and courageous response pic.twitter.com/tLPS5cLwnN
— Georgia Gould (@Georgia_Gould) January 6, 2020
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) January 6, 2020
In a separate statement on Twitter, the owners of Koko said they were “incredibly grateful” to the LFB for their swift response to the blaze.
“Our beloved KOKO is still standing,” they added.