SWX owner speaks out after fire at Bristol venue

  • Fire crews at the scene of the blaze in Bristol city centre

The owner of a Bristol club which has been damaged by a huge fire says "the show must go on".

The fire took hold at SWX, in Nelson Street, in the early hours of Tuesday 13 July.

At the height of the incident there were 20 firefighters working to tackle the blaze, which has now been put out.

SWX is one of Bristol's most famous nightclubs, previously operating as Papillons, The Works, Top Rank, Baileys, Romeo and Juliets, Odyssey, and Syndicate.

Firefighters at the scene of the incident on Tuesday 13 July. Credit: BPM Media

The club's owner Dominic Madden said: “It saddens me and all our loyal music fans that just a matter of days before the full reopening a fire has delayed the much anticipated return to live music and club events.

"If it was not for the heroic efforts of the Avon Fire and Rescue Service with the support of Avon and Somerset Police, the damage would have been much worse and I would like to thank them all for their help.

"The management team and I at the iconic SWX will spend the next 48 hours assessing the damage and then begin to plan for when the doors can finally reopen - the show will go on.”

Firefighters at the scene. Credit: Jamie Smith/BPM Media

How the fire unfolded

Emergency services were called at around 4.30am to reports of a fire in the four-storey club.

Firefighters and police both attended the scene, working for hours to put out the fire and dampen down hotspots.

A spokesperson for the fire service said: "We were joined at the scene by police colleagues and Nelson Street was closed during the incident.

"Crews remained on scene for some time after the fire was extinguished to damp down and ventilate the building."

The fire service initially thought the cause of the fire was deliberate, but upon further investigations at the scene have since clarified the cause remains "unknown".