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Thursday, April 15, 1999 Published at 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK


Fire hits MTV studios

MTV's London complex was formerly the home of TV-am

Music station MTV is clearing up after fire swept through its London studios.

The channel was forced off the air for several hours early on Thursday morning as a 40 firefighters tackled the blaze at Camden, north London.

It was three hours before the fire was brought under control. No one was injured, but part of the building's first floor and most of the roof were destroyed.

Engineers and studio staff activated emergency tapes as they were evacuated, but broadcasts were shut down when the power was cut off.

The canal-side complex is home to MTV's British and other European services, as well as VH-1. It was designed by Terry Farrell as the home of ITV's now-defunct breakfast service, TV-am.

Listed building

A listed building, it is still decorated with the distinctive egg-cup motif of the station, which closed in 1992.

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said the alarm was raised just before 2300 on Wednesday, when smoke was spotted coming from the studios.

Investigations are continuing into the blaze, which is believed to have been started by an electrical fault.

An MTV spokeswoman said: "Most of our services are back on air now and we're using other studios to get programmes out at the moment.

"Thankfully, the ground floor - where the studios and transmission equipment - is fine. The structure of the building is fine as well - if you look at it, you wouldn't know the fire had taken place."

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