Huge blaze breaks out at Warner Bros’ UK studios

Huge blaze breaks out at Warner Bros’ UK studios

Huge blaze ‘destroys spaceship set of Hugh Laurie’s new HBO sitcom’ at Warner Bros UK studios where Harry Potter and James Bond blockbusters were filmed

  • Fire broke out at Warner Bros. Studios in Hertfordshire at 11.30pm last night
  • Emergency services were still at the scene battling flames this morning
  • Fire believed to have started in an empty stage and no one was injured 
  • It was put out at around 3.30pm but firefighters remain there to make area safe

By Joseph Curtis For Mailonline

Published: 04:51 EDT, 11 July 2019 | Updated: 13:34 EDT, 11 July 2019

A fire at the Warner Bros Studios where Harry Potter and James Bond were filmed has destroyed a spaceship on set of Hugh Laurie’s new HBO sitcom. 

Around 75 firefighters were scrambled to the film set in Leavesden, Hertfordshire at 11.30pm last night. 

Crews battled until 3.30pm today until they finally managed to get the fire under control 16 hours later.

The flames are believed to have ruined a model spacecraft being used for a new TV series called Avenue 5 starring Hugh Laurie.

A source told the Watford Observer the blaze started inside one of the stage rooms where Avenue 5 is being filmed. No one was injured. 

Firefighters are pictured at the scene at Warner Bros. Studios in Hertfordshire after a blaze broke out in a stage last night

Eighteen fire engines and an aerial ladder platform are still at the studios today, although witnesses say they’ve been told the blaze is ‘under control’

Police have closed roads around the Hertfordshire site, pictured, while firefighters continue to make the area safe

Emergency services rushed to the studios at around 11.30pm last night, with locals reporting smoke billowing from the site, pictured

Firefighters have been pictured going in and out of a stage at the studios in Hertfordshire this morning

The flames are believed to have ruined a model spacecraft being used for a new TV series called Avenue 5 starring Hugh Laurie (pictured) 

The upcoming American science fiction comedy television series was created by The Thick of It producer Armando Iannucci and features Laurie as Ryan Clark, the captain of the Avenue 5 spaceship. 

A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council said: ‘The fire and rescue service were called to reports of a fire at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden in Hertfordshire at 11.29pm on Wednesday 10 July.

‘Fifteen fire engines, plus support vehicles, are currently in attendance at the scene and crews are tackling a fire in one of the stages there.

‘The set was not being used at the time of the fire. There are no injuries.’

All eight Harry Potter films as well as other movies including James Bond, Fast and Furious and the Mission Impossible franchises have filmed at the studios. 

Mark Hancock, who lives nearby, said: ‘My house is only about 200m away from the perimeter fence and we have a clear line of sight over gardens so we managed to see it out one of our windows. 

Ambulances have been called to the scene but the emergency services and Hertfordshire County Council say no one was injured

Smoke can still be seen billowing out of the site in some areas but the blaze is believed to be under control. Pictured is a resident near the site

Appliances have been pictured on the side of the road outside the studios today

Hoses can be seen extending from the studios, pictured, onto the road outside where an appliance is parked up

‘The smoke went high into the air, and as I watched, the smoke appeared to get thicker, so much so that we could see the flashing lights of the fire engines reflecting off the thick smoke

‘It was still going strong at about 1am and when I woke up this morning it was still smouldering.’

The site – which covers almost 200 acres – was previously an aircraft factory called Leavesden Aerodrome that was central to production during World War II.

It was converted for film use in 1994 for Pierce Brosnan’s first Bond film GoldenEye and has been a popular site for producers ever since.

Other films shot at the studios include Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Inception, Paddington, The Dark Knight and Bohemian Rhapsody.  

The site is also near the Warner Bros. Studio Tour attraction which takes guests behind the scenes of the making of the Harry Potter series. 

Guests today have been told tours are still going ahead and to turn up as normal. 

A spokesman for Warner Bros would not comment on the fire other than to confirm it was ongoing. He said the public studio tours were unaffected and taking place as usual.

People living in the Abbots Langley and Leavesden area said they were woken up by a ‘very strong’ smell of smoke during the night.

A couple of photos taken during the night show a huge plume of smoke over the studios.

Tours appear to still be ongoing at the nearby Harry Potter attraction with customers saying on social media they have been told their visits can go ahead

The studio, pictured, is a former World War II plane factory and was bought by Warner Bros. in 2010 and refurbished into a state of the art filming location


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