Advertising

Blaze breaks out at former bowling alley

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

The Fitness First gym  in Wolverhampton was closed today for emergency repairs after a blaze broke out at the former AMF Bowling alley upstairs.

The Fitness First gym in Wolverhampton was closed today for emergency repairs after a blaze broke out at the former AMF Bowling alley upstairs.

Around 40 people, including gym staff and customers and 25 people from the adjoining Nissan dealership, were evacuated during the blaze at 5pm yesterday.

Rush-hour drivers were distracted by thick smoke billowing from the disused former bowling alley on the busy Birmingham Road, Blakenhall. More than 70 firefighters battled the flames.

Six builders who were removing the bowling fixtures were also evacuated.

Watch commander Dave Nail, from Wolverhampton fire station, said: "The smoke was pouring out of the back windows and out of the front," he said.

"We couldn't see the fire but we evacuated people from the other two units."

It is believed contractors were refurbishing the old AMF Bowling unit on the upper floor of the 320ft by 160ft building, when the fire took hold.

Around 30 per cent of the former bowling alley, which also housed the Xpress Live music venue, was affected.

Advertising

Group commander for West Midlands Fire Service Mick Birch said the blaze started as some old machinery was being cut up

"The building is being decommissioned, with contractors brought in to deconstruct the interior," he said. "They were using cutting equipment and a stray spark flew out and set some material alight, which has completely smoke-logged the property. The pile of rubbish was around 65ft by 32ft.."

All Saints Road and Howard Road were shut for over five hours as the building was cleared of smoke.

Fitness First suffered some water damage and was closed today for repairs.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News