Slough bus station: Fire ‘shocks and saddens’ owners of ‘marmite’ building

The fire which ripped through one of Slough’s ‘love-hate landmark’ buildings is a “tragedy”, Slough’s councillor for transport has said.

No injuries or fatalities have been reported, but severe damage to the bus station has saddened those involved in building the iconic “marmite” structure as part of a £450 Slough Borough Council regeneration project in 2011.

Councillor Mohammed Nazir commended the emergency services on their response to the blaze, after videos on social media showed bright orange flames reaching into the sky at 1.50am on Saturday (October 29).

“The blaze, when you see the photos and images, you think ‘oh my god’,” said Cllr nazir.

“It is a tragic event. I think the only solace we can be made content with is that there were no fatalities or no injuries. That was great to learn.”

He continued: “When you see how high the fire was, I think the fire services have done brilliantly to contain that, and to save some of it.

“It is an iconic building, it has won so many awards, and it is renowned all over the world.”

READ MORE: Firefighter’s dismay at ‘heavy damage’ to Slough Bus Station

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) scrambled three engines to Brunel Way within three minutes of the alarm, but arrived to find the building well-alight.

The fire had started in a bus and spread to the canopy of the building, so the number of fire engines were doubled and an aerial ladder platform drafted in to reach the roof.

“Everybody who was involved in the building of it is upset by what’s happened. Whether people liked it or loathed it, it was a landmark building,” said a spokesperson for Slough Borough Council, who are the landlords of the station.

“It was well-known and it looks like the tail of the building is certainly severely damaged.”

Slough Observer: Damage to the 'tail' of Slough bus stationDamage to the ‘tail’ of Slough bus station (Image: Newsquest)

She continued: “Some people loved the building, some people hated it. It was marmite in that way.

“It’s quite sad, looking at the pictures now. The future of it is not yet known.”

The spokesperson reassured residents that most bus services should resume as the working week begins.

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“From a transport point of view, the bus companies have reacted very very quickly. They have reorganised themselves, using the bus stops on Brunel Way and Wellington Street.

“We’re hoping that once everything has settled down there is minimal impact on the services themselves.”

RBFRS have handed the site over to Thames Valley Police, whose forensics officers are investigating the cause of the fire.

Group manager at RBFRS, Tim Readings, said the investigation will consider all possibilities, including whether the fire was deliberate.

A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said: Thames Valley Police is working with Fire Investigators from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue to establish the cause of the fire at Slough Bus Station.

“We are keeping an open mind as to the cause and remain on scene at this time. Anyone with information should contact 101 quoting reference 43220486319.”

Slough Observer | News