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Fri February 26 2021

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Fire sets back Balfour refurb project

8 Jan 18 A Balfour Beatty construction site at Bristol University was damaged by fire at the weekend.

Photo from Twitter/Avon Fire & Rescue Service
Photo from Twitter/Avon Fire & Rescue Service

Fire broke out in the roof of Bristol University’s Fry Building on Saturday evening, creating a set-back for the ongoing refurbishment works.

Balfour Beatty started work on a £19m refurbishment contract a year ago. The five-storey building was undergoing a £33m programme of works to become the new home for Bristol University’s School of Mathematics. Completion had initially been scheduled for October 2017 but this had already been put back to summer 2018.

Firefighters from six fire engines, two turntable ladders and support vehicles tackled the fire which involved the top floor of the building. After three hours, the fire was brought under control by 8pm.

A spokesman for Avon Fire & Rescue Service said the cause was not yet known. “There are no obvious signs that it is suspicious. The investigation is in its early stages so the cause is still unknown and it can’t be ruled out,” he said.

Fire damage was mainly confined to the roof of the property but there was inevitable water damage to the top floor from the extinguishing of the flames.

Refurbishment work on the Grade II listed building includes the addition of an atrium to link to a new 140 seat lecture theatre with a roof garden above it.

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