Drone shows moment solar panel fire takes hold at We The Curious in Bristol

  • Drone footage shows fire - and damage - at We The Curious

A major fire which broke out at a Bristol museum was spotted by a police drone operator.

We The Curious was evacuated on Saturday (April 9) after Avon and Somerset Police's drone operator raised the alarm of a fire on its roof.

Investigators say the blaze started on its solar panels.

Managers have now thanked police for raising the alarm, saying it enabled them to evacuate the museum quickly and saw the blaze tackled within minutes.

"The early intervention was a fantastic stroke of luck", said Donna Speed, the chief executive of We The Curious.

"The police had a drone in the area for a completely different reason, they were able to inform the fire brigade who were here immediately.

The roof has been severely damaged - but the museum's chief executive says it could have been far worse Credit: ITV

"While we're very confident we would have evacuated safely, the limited damage to the building is because of that early intervention."

Fire investigators say they believe the fire most likely started in the building's solar panel systems, which were installed in 2011.

  • Footage shows fire from

Area manager for Avon Fire and Rescue Service Steve Quinton said: "Solar panels are safe.

"They're like any electrical item they are safe as long as they're used correctly and installed correctly - so we would always say that if people are considering solar panels or have solar panels, ensure that they're installed by a reputable company."

Donna Speed said she hopes We The Curious will reopen "within weeks".