The future of a church that was the setting for a Bob Marley music video is hanging in the balance following a fire last week.
Surveyors are in the process of assessing whether the Christ Apostolic Church on Gifford Street can be salvaged following the blaze on Thursday night.
Around 40 firefighters were called to the church when a fire tore through all three storeys of the building. Neighbours were asked to evacuate their homes at around 10pm and stood on the street while the blaze was being tackled.
June Han, a 33-year-old photographer who lives next to the church, was one of those forced to leave her home.
She said: “I could see black smoke coming out of the building. I am pregnant and I was worried about my baby. We had to stand on the street, it was horrible.”
Paul Dunstone, a 29-year-old web developer who also lives on the street, said: “They seemed to have it under control, but it was a bit worrying when it started to spread to the next building.”
Neighbours reported that they were forced to call the London Fire Brigade for a second time on Friday morning when the fire resumed.
A firefighter at the scene described the building as being “absolutely gutted inside” and told Islington Now that it may have to be pulled down. However, representatives at Islington Council said it was too early to confirm this.
Investigations into the cause of the fire are being carried out by London Fire Brigade in conjunction with the police. The possibility that the incident was suspicious has not been ruled out.
The Keskidee Centre, which was based inside the church, was founded in 1971 and became well-known as the venue to see black theatre in London.
It was famously used as the setting for the music video for Bob Marley’s iconic Is This Love? in 1978, which also featured a seven-year-old Naomi Campbell.
At the unveiling of a commemorative plaque at the centre last April, Islington Council leader Catherine West said of the building: “The Keskidee Centre made an important contribution to London’s cultural development during the 70s and 80s and it is another great example of Islington’s rich history.”