Saturday 20 January 2018

Wimbledon Fire: Crews tackling massive blaze on court just weeks before tournament

A hedge close to one of the courts is on fire
A hedge close to one of the courts is on fire

Luke Brown

A number of fire engines are present at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), where a fire has broken out on a Wimbledon practice court.

Dramatic images taken from outside the club show a hedge close to one of the practice courts ablaze, near heavy construction equipment.

The London Fire Brigade confirmed on Twitter that four fire engines had been dispatched to tackle the blaze.

"Four fire engines are currently attending reports of a fire in the practice court area of the All England Tennis Club," they said in a short statement published to their Twitter page.

"The AELTC can confirm the London Fire Brigade has been attending a small fire outside Gate 1, which has now been extinguished," they said.

Gate 1 is located close to Wimbledon's No 1 Court, which is in the process of having a retractable roof added to it. The roof is expected to be ready for the 2019 Championships.

On Twitter, Wimbledon locals expressed their shock at the dramatic fire, with white smoke visible over the world-famous tennis club.

“Fire at Wimbledon tennis courts, loads of fire engines in attendance,” Ian Adams wrote. “Lots of smoke in the area. Wimbledon park road blocked to traffic.”

Twitter user Calum Carpenter added: “I think the All England Tennis Club is on fire. Dozens of sirens, massive plume of white smoke, ash falling like snow.”

Another user called Lesley wrote: “Arrived for our tour of @Wimbledon and there's a fire. Fire engine just arrived so hopefully we can go in shortly.”

The Championships are due to begin on Monday 3 July, with the gentleman's singles concluding the tournament on Sunday 16 July.

Andy Murray won the tournament for a second time last year, while Serena Williams defeated Angelique Kerber in the women's singles.

More to follow...

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