Koko Camden: Fire engulfs famous music venue

media captionOne third of the roof of Koko in Camden was on fire at one point, the London Fire Brigade says

One of London's most famous music venues has been badly damaged in a blaze.

The dome on the roof of Koko in Camden has been destroyed by fire, according to the London Fire Brigade.

Sixty firefighters helped fight the flames after the blaze broke out just before 21:00 GMT on Monday. No injuries have been reported.

The venue began life as the Camden Theatre in 1900 and has hosted stars including Madonna, Coldplay and Prince.

Station commander Jon Lewis said the fire was brought under control at about 02:30 on Tuesday, adding: "Firefighters' quick action and hard work in the early stages meant the fire was contained to the roof and saved the rest of the building."

image copyrightKMazur/Getty
image captionMadonna performing at Koko in 2005

Koko owner Olly Bengough said he was "deeply saddened", adding: "We'll be doing our best to get the redevelopment of this iconic building back on track."

image captionThe fire in the building's roof was brought under control in the early hours of Tuesday

Koko, which was closed for refurbishment, was also previously known as the Camden Palace and Camden Hippodrome and has been one of the capital's most iconic live music venues for decades.

The Rolling Stones, The Clash and Ed Sheeran are among other star names to have performed at the venue, which is close to Mornington Crescent underground station.

image copyrightUniversalImagesGroup/Getty
image captionOpening night at Camden Palace 1981 with Steve Strange (left)

It was reportedly the last venue where AC/DC's Bon Scott was seen drinking before his death from alcohol poisoning in 1980.

In the early 80s it served as a major venue for the punk and New Romantic scene, with singer Steve Strange of the band Visage holding club nights.

image copyrightOliver Cooper
image captionAbout 60 firefighters helped tackle the fire at Koko in Camden High Street

Music lovers have been sharing their Koko memories on Twitter.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Veteran DJ Tony Blackburn who held his legendary soul nights Shakatak also tweeted about the fire.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Koko and the nearby Roundhouse effectively "bookended" Camden's music scene, according to music writer Carl Allen.

On Twitter, the Roundhouse said it was "really sad" to hear the news about its Camden neighbours.

Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said on Monday night: "Heartbreaking watching the Camden Palace/Koko up in flames this evening, a building that holds so many memories and means so much to us in Camden."

The venue was set to reopen in the spring after a "major state-of-the-art" refurbishment, after the purchase of two adjacent buildings.

An investigation is under way into how the fire started.

image captionThe venue hosted the BBC's Electric Proms in 2007
image copyrightPA Media
image captionKoko has hosted some of music's biggest names including Madonna, The Rolling Stones and Prince

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