Following an extensive search by trained dogs, firefighters have announced that no bodies have been found following a significant fire at Liberty’s Bar, a club on Upper Parliament Street in the city centre.
Starting at 2am and noticed by university revellers across town, the fire badly damaged the third and fourth floors and caused the roof of the building to cave in. It required eight crews of firefighters from across town to be deployed, with sixty people tackling the flames at its peak. In the aftermath, the building was considered too unsafe to enter, necessitating the use of dogs to search for bodies in the ruins. According to the commander at the scene, the question was not whether the building would collapse, but “how imminent that collapse would be”.
All businesses on that side of Upper Parliament Street have been closed, and others have been adversely affected. While the Job Centre, Tribunals Service and Tesco Express are soon to reopen, Rob Darby – the owner of Cucamara Cocktail Bar in Hurt’s Yard – lamented the timing of the inferno: “It’s disastrous timing because all the students came back on Sunday”, he said, “Students form their habits in the first couple of weeks”. A swine flu medication pick-up point near the scene has been relocated.
Transport has been similarly impeded. Derby Road, Theatre Square, Friar Lane, Maid Marian Way and Angel Road have been affected by diversions, while some bus services have been diverted from their usual routes. Tram Services are unchanged.