Purley Way sports pavilion destroyed in suspected arson fire

Emergency call: the football changing rooms on the Purley Way were quickly destroyed by the blaze, recorded by a drone camera

One of the council-owned sports pavilions on the Purley Way playing fields was destroyed by fire at the weekend.

According to the emergency services, no one was hurt in the blaze, the incident captured in dramatic style by local resident Michael Willans using a drone-borne remote camera.

The fire was first called in around 6.30pm on Saturday evening.

Willans’ video lasts barely eight minutes, in which time the building can be seen to be almost completely destroyed.

The drone footage shows passers-by gathering on the football pitches to watch as the Fire Brigade arrived, with the fire already well-established and little left of the old building.

Quick fire: the plume of smoke from the fire could be seen for miles around

The council-owned pavilions – changing rooms for the Purley Way football pitches – are believed to date from the 1950s, but have been poorly maintained for decades, to the point of being almost derelict.

No cause of the fire has yet been established, with sources suggesting that it is most likely arson.

According to the London Fire Brigade, “Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters were called to a fire at a sports pavilion on Purley Way in Croydon.

“The Brigade was called at 1818 and the fire was under control by 1952. Fire crews from Purley, Croydon, Wallington and Norbury fire stations were at the scene.

“The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Brigade and the Metropolitan Police Service.”

The Fire Brigade has had a couple of busy days in Croydon, having to tackle a blaze at a scrap metal yard on Mitcham Road this morning.

A pile of scrap metal in open air was destroyed by fire, the LFB said. There were no reports of any injuries.

Station Commander Mike Dowden, who was at the scene, said: “The fire was producing a large plume of smoke, which has now subsided.

“An on-site mechanical digger was used to turn over the scrap metal, helping crews to access the fire.”

The Brigade was called at 0440 and the fire was under control by 0757. Fire crews from Croydon, Norbury, Mitcham and Wallington fire stations attended the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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3 Responses to Purley Way sports pavilion destroyed in suspected arson fire

  1. Lewis White says:

    These should have been replaced decades ago with a decent new building.
    Isolated changing rooms have to be designed with really robust materials, cunningly designed to keep vandals out and off the roof, A medieval castle is therefore the best design prototype, but with a fire and axe-proof surface to keep modern vandals out.

    I wonder if Croydon were able to insure this ugly (now former) building, and if they did, how much the pay out will be. Not enough for a new changing room, is my guess.

    • Steph Newton says:

      I disagree – this was a perfectly serviceable building that could be adapted. Do we have to design our buildings as fortresses because of mindless idiots?

      Its not about ‘ugliness’ – you are almost saying the cretin who did this (if was intentional) is doing us all a favour because Croydon are a bit rubbish. Burning down a public building – should be 15 years in jail.

  2. Timothy Horgan says:

    I agree with Steph Newton, i played football for various teams at Purley Way for many years and the facilities were quite acceptable until private companies took over the council.

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