A large office near the City of London owned by Boston-based Beacon Capital was evacuated early yesterday afternoon after fire swept through the building.
According to multiple reports by the UK trade press, hundreds of people were forced to escape Beacon’s MidCity Place after the fire broke around lunchtime. The Estates Gazette reported that flames could be seen from top windows of the building and that all surrounding roads were closed off for a number of hours.
It is believed the fire was started in a Japanese restaurant on the ground floor of the 350,000 square foot building which was acquired by Beacon for £325 million ($512 million; €346 million) from joint sellers Invista Real Estate and Delancey in August 2007.
In an interview with Building magazine, Rob Smith, a senior partner at cost consultancy Davis Langdon, one of the building's tenants, said: “There were flames coming out of the roof, there was smoke billowing out and the cladding was falling off.”