This month got off to an interesting start at FreshMinds, as we were forced to evacuate our London offices on 1st April as a result of the underground fire in Holborn. What began with lights flickering on and off (“is this an April Fool’s joke?”), ended as a full-scale evacuation (“okay, this is serious”).
Fortunately, despite being located just off Kingsway, FreshMinds was affected for just one day. Thanks to our wonderful IT team, we were back up and running the next morning.
Many other local businesses were affected as a result of the fire, as well as the subsequent power cut and road closures. But what was the full extent of the damage? We take a look at the stats:
- The full cost to London firms was a huge £40m
- 8 theatres were affected …
- … that’s 30, 000 theatre goers …
- … and £2m worth of tickets
- 5000 people were evacuated
- 3100 properties lost power
- 10 bus routes were affected
- 4 major roads were closed: Kingsway, the Strand Underpass, Waterloo Bridge and Southampton Row. Parts of still Kingsway remain closed to vehicles.
FreshMinds’ CEO, Caroline Plumb, commented: “Unfortunately, the extent of the Holborn fire on local businesses has been far greater than anyone could have initially anticipated with many businesses on Kingsway still suffering from reduced footfall as a result of the road closure. This incident really highlights the importance of having a disaster recovery policy that enables businesses to react with agility to unexpected circumstances.”