Fry Building Fire affects students preparing for exams


A fire broke out in the Fry Building at 5pm on Saturday 6th January. The fire was extinguished by 19:47 according to Avon Fire and Rescue

The Grace Reeves study centre will be open until 10pm tonight (Sunday 7th January), as will the Hawthorns study lounge. Wills Library will open as normal on Monday.

Students who left their belongings inside after the evacuation of Wills library are entitled to apply for extenuating circumstances for their examinations, which commence on Monday 8th January. The University has confirmed all exams are continuing as planned.

Beacon House will close at 5pm today due to problems with security access following the fire and the new Hawthorns study area will be open until 10pm ahead of schedule instead.

The fire caused great damage to the Grade II listed Fry Building, which has been undergoing development as part of a £33 million university investment. It was due to be completed in Spring 2018 as the new Maths building.

The fire has mainly affected the roof of the building, which Avon Fire and Rescue say is now structurally unstable and needs to be replaced, with water damage to the upper floor and some below.

A spokesperson for the University said: 'The whole building was being refurbished to house the School of Maths. It would appear that just the roof and top floor has been fire damaged but there's water damage elsewhere as you would expect.'

A report from the Avon Fire and Rescue states: ‘Firefighters from six fire engines, two turntable ladders and support vehicles were working to tackle the fire which involves the top floor of the building.’

The cause of the fire is not yet known. Steve Quinton, Group Manager at Avon Fire and Rescue, said today: 'The investigation is ongoing and the cause is unknown. We’re not treating it as suspicious, but still not ruling it out.'

Megan Reynolds, a 3rd year Aerospace Engineering student was in Wills Library when the fire broke out, ‘I smelt a load of burning first, then a few seconds later the fire alarm went off and we were all told to evacuate. When I walked outside the roads were filled with thick smoke.’

University of Bristol confirmed that everyone was accounted for and the building was completely empty due to building work taking place. They say it is too early too soon to give details on cost or impact.

If you were evacuated from a University building because of the fire and have not yet had the chance to collect personal belongings, please contact Security on 01179287848. The University also encourages students who were evacuated to use the extenuating circumstances process by informing their schools of any disruption to their revision.

Were your studies affected by the fire? Let us know:

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