Maughan Library to reopen at midday after Holborn fire – but VWB still closed

Kingsway fire / London Fire Brigade

NO MORE excuses everybody – the Maughan Library will reopen at midday today after a two-day fire in Holborn was finally extinguished yesterday afternoon.

The Virginia Woolf Building on Kingsway remains closed due to the fire and other parts of the Strand Campus are accessible if accompanied by security.

The underground blaze was extinguished yesterday afternoon after firefighters worked around the clock since Wednesday to contain the electrical fire.

King’s told students this morning: “The Virginia Woolf Building remains closed for the Easter period while we assess the impact of the smoke on the building and it’s [sic] infrastructure.”

“However, if you have an urgent need to access other buildings on the Strand Campus, you can do so if accompanied by a security guard to help ensure your safety.” Easter opening hours apply.

More than 2,000 people were evacuated on Wednesday afternoon shortly after smoke was seen billowing from a manhole cover on Kingsway. A resulting power cut forced the whole of the Strand Campus, alongside many other buildings in the area, to close their doors.

Six fire engines and 35 firemen arrived at the scene to combat the fire, increasing to 70 later on.

London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner Dominic Ellis said: “I want to thank everyone involved in this incident for their hard work over the last few days. This has been a complicated and difficult incident to manage.

“The reason it took so long to extinguish the flames is because of the dangers involved in extinguishing the fire before the gas supply was shut down, which could result in the risk of a gas explosion.”

He added: “Firefighters managed the fire by applying water through access points which helped to stop it spreading protecting local buildings and businesses.”

Check out the photos of the fire here.

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