Ten fire engines and 70 firefighters were called today to a fierce blaze at Islington’s famous Ironmonger Row Baths on Norman Road EC1.
The Fire Brigade was called at 9.41am and the fire was under control by 12.03am with fire crews from across north and east London at the scene.
Investigations on site suggested that the fire had started in the basement sauna and spa.
Station Commander David Reed, who was at the scene, said: “Around nine members of staff and 15 customers left the building uninjured before the Brigade arrived.
“There was smoke coming through a grill at pavement level, which has now subsided. Residents in nearby properties were advised to keep their windows and doors shut.
Local residents have been alerted that Ironmonger Row and Norman Street are closed in both directions. The Fire Brigade is encouraging people to avoid the area as firefighting continues.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Ironmonger Row Baths is part of a leisure centre run by the company Better, whose website reports that the site is “currently closed due to an unforeseen emergency building issue.”
It was reopened in 2012 after a £16.5million restoration project, including the spa where the fire is thought to have started.