'Lucky' escape as Icescape damage 'not as bad' as feared
PUBLISHED: 13:06 24 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:06 24 November 2018
Damage caused by a blaze at Weston's Tropicana last night (Friday) 'is not as bad as first envisaged', according to organisers after a kitchen fire saw the town's premiere winter attraction evacuated.
Pop-up ice rink Icescape is closed until further notice, but bosses are breathing a collective sigh of relief after investigations found the fire, which broke out at 5pm, was contained to the food court.
The attraction has proved an immensely popular addition to the town’s festive events calendar, with North Somerset Council – which owns the Trop – agreeing a five-year deal with Icescape after more than 100,000 people took to the ice in 2017.
The flames did not affect the main building of the former lido, but Avon Fire and Rescue Service told the Mercury ‘significant damage’ had been caused to Icescape’s temporary structure.
However, an Icescape spokesman revealed organisers are much more optimistic after inspecting the aftermath.
They said: “We have now been able to assess the damage caused by the fire.
“Luckily, it is not as bad as first envisaged and was contained in the food court area.
“We will be working on the damaged area on Saturday and we will keep everyone updated via social media regarding opening.
“Thanks again to all our staff, customers and for the fire brigade for their quick response and getting everybody out quickly and safely.”
Some revellers were forced to flee the inferno on skates without their shoes, and they have been advised to return today to collect any belongings left behind.
The spokesman added: “Anyone who had a session booked for tonight or tomorrow will be receiving an e-mail within the next 24 hours in regards to their tickets and the next steps.”
Half a dozen fire crews tackled the blaze and evacuated the building, with one woman needing treatment for smoke inhalation.
A spokesman added: “It’s a temporary structure so it caught fire quite rapidly and caused significant damage.
“The fire was brought under control after 15-20 minutes.”