A group of school children in a swimming class were among the members who evacuated from the Highbury Leisure Centre because of a fire on Tuesday 25 September.

There were no injuries to employees, members or firefighters. “The building was empty within 90 seconds of the alarm being raised,” according to a statement released by Dan Clarke, the PR executive for Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL).

The centre caught fire when repairs were being done to the roof. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the statement.  

Photo credit: Becky Jones @beckyjonescm

A recent member of the gym, Becky Jones was five minutes into her pilates class when “someone burst into the studio and told everyone to evacuate,” she says. “We did not hear the alarm before that.”

Everyone was gathering and watching the fire from outside; it was a calm atmosphere despite the fact that the building was in flames, according to Jones. “The roof appeared to be melting and there was a substantial hole and flames,” she said.

The gym is closed until further notice but memberships are being “upgraded” to any Better leisure centre across the UK, according to the Highbury Leisure Centre website.

Customers are being relocated to better facilities. Picture: Emily Garber

“It was a very sad thing to watch. The leisure centre is central to lots of people’s lives,” Jones said.