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5000 Evacuated As Google UK HQ Roof Garden Catches Fire

Employees at Google’s UK headquarters in London were evacuated, after a fire broke out at the top of the building on Buckingham Palace Road at lunch time.

It took four engines as well as 20 firefighters to extinguish the blaze, which was related to barbecue. As many as 5,000 Google staffers and other people on the sixth floor of the building were evacuated.

However, a small patio area on the fifth floor of the building was also affected, according to London Fire Brigade.

Within few minutes of the incident, the workers in the nearby buildings started posting images of the blaze on the microblogging website Twitter. A Google spokesperson notified that no one had been injured.

Along the same line, the spokesman said: “We have free food for staff at our offices and today was a barbecue day. We were having a barbecue on the patio where the fire started. There was no serious damaged to the building and thankfully no one was hurt. We're all back in the offices now.”

The fire was controlled within a few minutes, but the smoke was continued to be here for some time as firefighters were finding it difficult to reach the source of the fire from a raised platform.

Our Comments

Had this incident happened elsewhere, it wouldn't certainly have garnered so much publicity and nearly 40 articles from some of the biggest national newspapers in the UK.This shows, to some extent, the importance of Google in the eyes of the media. Also the Telegraph reports that 5000 people were in the building, surely that's 500.

Related Links

Barbecue burns London Google HQ (opens in new tab)

(IT Pro)

Blaze on Google HQ roof garden (opens in new tab)

(Press Association)

Fire breaks out in Google building in Victoria, London (opens in new tab)


Fire at Google UK (opens in new tab)

(The Register)

Google offices ablaze after rooftop barbecue goes wrong (opens in new tab)

(Daily Mail)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.