Monday morning fire

Monday Morning Fire

On Monday 26th June at 6.40am an incident occurred here at College Court that would change the way we operate as a business. A fire. It broke out in our basement dry store and quickly took hold of our facilities. Our excellent fire safety system picked up the fire immediately and the alarms sounded. The team quickly investigated to find our building full of smoke. The fire brigade, all 3 engines and an excellent team of fire fighters arrived swiftly and put out the blaze. But the damage had already been done.

The most important thing is that no one was injured or hurt and all staff and guests were swiftly and effectively evacuated. But the fire had caused significant damage to our main conference building and it was quickly apparent that there would need to be a huge clean-up effort. Thankfully our accommodation, situated in separate buildings are unaffected.

The senior management team arrived swiftly, and the team onsite had taken full control. All 43 guests and all staff were evacuated smoothly and without delay. As a busy conference centre we had events and conferences due in that day and guests had started to arrive for their meetings. Our team were able to quickly secure space at our sister venues at the University of Leicester and the pride that we have for the team who dealt with all our guests overflows, even today. We could see the shock and surprise of the people arriving with the main entrance blocked with fire engines and fire hoses, a scary and confusing time for all.

Our facilities were closed down and forensic fire officers and even the fire investigating canine in his little boots were in attendance to find the cause of this awful occurrence. The fire was contained to the basement dry store but it is the smoke that caused the most horrific of damage, far exceeding what any of us would expect, which spread through both floors of our building. We walked through the building looking at the damage and our breaths were taken away, not only from the smell of smoke but the huge amount of destruction throughout all floors, rooms and corridors. Many tears were shed by our team, from the most senior down to our trainees, the passion and love we have for this business, which was built from scratch by many of us, shone through and emotions were high.

But the bricks and mortar can be repaired, and as we write this a huge team of cleaners, decorators and contractors are putting our business back together.

We would like to take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt thanks everyone involved, from the fire service, to the University support system, to our insurers, fire investigation officers, health and safety executives, cleaners, our clients and guests, local residents and local businesses and of course the incredible team here that have every day faced huge challenges and have delivered a truly excellent service. A very special thank you to the Cradock Arms who have opened their doors to us in our darkest hour and offered a full breakfast service and dinner for our guests along with use of kitchens for our chefs, we couldn’t have been operational as quickly as we have been without you.

We are pleased to say that we will fully re-open our facilities in the coming weeks, in fact we are already back up and running for our overnight Hotel guests, and look forward to a shiny clean building that our clients can continue to enjoy their experiences. We certainly look forward to welcoming you all back to us.

One lesson we will take away is the shear devastation fire can cause; to everyone who owns a property, commercial or residential, please ensure you follow your training plans and test your safety equipment regularly, it really can save lives and protect further damage.

As a business we will survive because the fire inside us burned brighter than the fire around us.

For any enquiries regarding future bookings or if you would like to talk tour team then please feel free to contact us on 0116 244 9669 or email

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