Fire-ravaged Lynn leisure centre closed

Council building inspectors were today counting the cost of damage to King's Lynn's fire-ravaged St James Pool. Flames tore through the town centre leisure centre, in Blackfriars Street, on Monday night.

Council building inspectors were today counting the cost of damage to King's Lynn's fire-ravaged St James Pool.

Flames tore through the town centre leisure centre, in Blackfriars Street, on Monday night.

This morning a large hole could be seen in the roof of the fitness suite, where the fire is believed to have started.

Fire crews from across West Norfolk took more than an hour to bring the blaze under control. Firefighters were on the scene within minutes of the alarm being raised at 8pm.

They used hose reel jets, a hydraulic platform and breathing apparatus to contain the fire and bring it under control.

Today West Norfolk council said the building had been made safe but would remain closed while investigations continued into the cause of the blaze.

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Deputy chief executive Dave Thomason said: “We are unable to comment on possible causes until we receive information from the fire investigators.

“Obviously we want to re-open the facility as soon as possible, but until our insurance assessors have been to site, we are unable to start any work in the damaged area.

“The main pool area itself appears to be undamaged so we are currently exploring potential temporary solutions that will enable us to get that part of the complex open to the public again as soon as possible."

The Council is reminding customers that alternative swimming and fitness facilities are available at The Oasis in Hunstanton and at Downham Market Leisure Centre. Fitness facilities are also available at Lynnsport in King's Lynn.

"We can only apologise for the inconvenience that this incident will cause and hope that our customers will bear with us over the coming few weeks while we carry out the necessary work to get the facility open again."

Up-to-date information will be posted on the Borough Council's website www.west-Norfolk.gov.uk. Once phone lines have been restored to the St James facility, customers are encouraged to contact the facility direct on 01553 764888 to find out the latest position.

St James Swimming Pool was originally opened in 1974 and up it has up to 230,000 visitors each year.

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