Fire Results In Closure Of 114 Chancery Lane
On Saturday 1st February 2020, a fire broke out at the Law Society of England and Wales’s headquarters on 113 and 114 Chancery Lane in central London.
25 fire engines and around 150 firefighters were called to deal with the fire which saw the building’s roof and parts of the third, fourth and fifth floors, which include the offices of the Law Society’s in-house paper The Law Society Gazette, ablaze.
Paul Tennant, Law Society Chief Executive, said:
“First of all, I wanted to express my gratitude to the fir service and my relief that nobody has been hurt. I also want to express my sympathy to the residents in the Chancery Lane area whom I understand may have had to evacuate their homes.
“It is too early to comment on the cause of the fire of the extent of the damage, but we clearly are extremely upset that this has happened to this wonderful and historic building.
“When the fire alarm sounded on Saturday night an event had been taking place. An evacuation ensued and I’d like to praise our on-site staff and others for their calm response. We will release more information as it emerges in due course.”
Assistant Commissioner Dom Ellis, who was at the scene, said:
“This was a very complex fire due to the age and layout of the building.
“Firefighters worked throughout the night in very challenging and arduous conditions to prevent the fire from spreading to key areas of the historic building, while also trying to prevent water damage.
“Crews remained on scene throughout Sunday damping down and cutting away. They also carried out salvage work to minimise damage to the building.”
A spokesperson for the Law Society, said this morning (Monday 3rd February):
“As of Monday morning the bulk of our staff of 400 is largely working remotely while assessment of the damage continues.
“What we know at this point is there was significant damage to portions of the roof of 114, to the staircase on the upper floors and to the offices located on those floors. Fortunately the fire was contained and did not spread to 113 Chancery Lane which houses some of the more well-known rooms such as our library, the Reading Room and the Common Room.”
114 Chancery Lane is now closed whilst the recovery process begins. However, questions may be asked as to the steps taken to assist in the recovery process to ensure everything is accounted for.