Friday, 31st October 2014

Shrews count cost after blaze drama

Football bosses have revealed a fire at Shrewsbury Town’s stadium during a crucial match against Port Vale has caused up to £10,000 worth of damage.

The drama unfolded at the Greenhous Meadow just after 9pm on Tuesday when a blaze broke out in a control room below the Roland Wycherley Stand.

Supporters in the stand above the fire were evacuated within minutes. Immediately afterwards, fans in the other stands were asked to leave the ground.

In total 6,876 supporters were at the match, which Shrewsbury were winning 1-0.

Club officials said the fire was caused by an electrical fault in the main switch gear which controls the floodlights. Ian Bebbington, the club’s operations manager, said: “It is difficult to say the exact cost but I estimate it would be between eight to £10,000. We are still in talks with insurers about how it will be paid for.”

Mr Bebbington said electricians were at the ground today replacing the damaged switch gear. He added that the club was doing everything in its power to ensure Saturday’s game against Aldershot would go ahead.

Police and officials at the club have praised supporters’ calm and quick reaction to the drama. Mr Bebbington said: “I would like to say a big thank you to all the supporters in the other stands who stayed patient while we dealt with the incident.

“Supporters co-operated once they realised the magnitude of the situation. Everyone was a credit to the town.”

He said: “We had a major blaze. We had no option but to close the door on it. It was beyond fire extinguishers.”