Gateway’s studios are wrecked by fire

Echo: At the scene – Essex Fire Authority chairman Anthony Hedley, assistant divisional officer Mark Turnball and Basildon station manager Mike Sparrow At the scene – Essex Fire Authority chairman Anthony Hedley, assistant divisional officer Mark Turnball and Basildon station manager Mike Sparrow

A SUSPECTED arsonist has been arrested after radio studios were destroyed in a fire at Basildon’s Eastgate Centre.

Popular community station Gateway FM, located in the Galleries, will have to replace all of its equipment, costing thousands of pounds.

Firefighters were called to the Basildon town centre mall just after 11.30pm on Wednesday.

Five crews from Basildon, Orsett and Grays spent almost an hour battling the flames.

The station’s inhouse sprinkler system was activated and neighbouring shops on the top floor were flooded. They remained closed yesterday as a clean-up operation began.

However, the showwent on for Gateway FM, which is being broadcast from a home studio.

Yvonne Williams, managing director of the station, said: “The fire has caused a tremendous amount of damage. The studios are completely out of operation, but fortunately we have a fail-safe alternative, sowe can still operate a service.

“It might be below our normal service, but it gets us by.

“As far as the Eastgate is concerned, it has caused big problems.

Without the sprinkler system, the whole of the shopping centre could have been destroyed.

“Some of the other retailers have suffered enormously and lost an enormous amount of stock because of all the water which poured into the centre.

“As far as the studios are concerned, it’s a case of new equipment being purchased and installed, and thatwill take time.”

It is thought someone broke into the Eastgate shopping centre before lighting the fire and fleeing.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “A man has been arrested in connection with a fire at Basildon’s Eastgate shopping centre.

“Police were contacted at 11.55pm on Wednesday following reports of a blaze on the top floor of the building.

“A 26 year-old man, of no fixed address, was arrested several hours later on suspicion of arson.

“He is being questioned by officers at Basildon police station.”

Comments (8)

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11:22am Sun 9 Feb 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

what an odd thing to set fire to, maybe more to this than meets the eye.
what an odd thing to set fire to, maybe more to this than meets the eye. DogsMessInLeigh

11:34am Sun 9 Feb 14

Kim Gandy says...

This has caused great distress to all concerned at the radio station but despite the damage concerned, they continue to provide service as usual.

Gateway is a community project and is a robust community largely made up of dedicated local youngsters and adult volunteers alike. Friends and supporters are rallying round.

Meanwhile, it is down to the police to establish a motive, if there is one at all, as often there is not these days, with the kind of mindless thugs that stalk the streets, often attacking persons or property, for no particularly valid reason.

In true British manner, it will be business as usual.
This has caused great distress to all concerned at the radio station but despite the damage concerned, they continue to provide service as usual. Gateway is a community project and is a robust community largely made up of dedicated local youngsters and adult volunteers alike. Friends and supporters are rallying round. Meanwhile, it is down to the police to establish a motive, if there is one at all, as often there is not these days, with the kind of mindless thugs that stalk the streets, often attacking persons or property, for no particularly valid reason. In true British manner, it will be business as usual. Kim Gandy

6:56pm Sun 9 Feb 14

RochfordRob says...

Maybe they refused a request.

Burn Baby Burn
Fire

One of those?

Being serious, there are too many nutters about. I know one posts on here regularly.
Maybe they refused a request. Burn Baby Burn Fire One of those? Being serious, there are too many nutters about. I know one posts on here regularly. RochfordRob

8:38pm Sun 9 Feb 14

maddriver says...

RochfordRob wrote:
Maybe they refused a request.

Burn Baby Burn
Fire

One of those?

Being serious, there are too many nutters about. I know one posts on here regularly.
You only know one?
[quote][p][bold]RochfordRob[/bold] wrote: Maybe they refused a request. Burn Baby Burn Fire One of those? Being serious, there are too many nutters about. I know one posts on here regularly.[/p][/quote]You only know one? maddriver

8:48pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Criminal & Proud says...

RochfordRob wrote:
Maybe they refused a request.

Burn Baby Burn
Fire

One of those?

Being serious, there are too many nutters about. I know one posts on here regularly.
I was thinking Relight My Fire by Take That. Well that could be the first song that's played when the station gets up and running again.
[quote][p][bold]RochfordRob[/bold] wrote: Maybe they refused a request. Burn Baby Burn Fire One of those? Being serious, there are too many nutters about. I know one posts on here regularly.[/p][/quote]I was thinking Relight My Fire by Take That. Well that could be the first song that's played when the station gets up and running again. Criminal & Proud

10:22pm Sun 9 Feb 14

ThisYear says...

maddriver wrote:
RochfordRob wrote:
Maybe they refused a request.

Burn Baby Burn
Fire

One of those?

Being serious, there are too many nutters about. I know one posts on here regularly.
You only know one?
Psst...he posts on here more than regularly! I dont think he is aware he does hence his post.
[quote][p][bold]maddriver[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]RochfordRob[/bold] wrote: Maybe they refused a request. Burn Baby Burn Fire One of those? Being serious, there are too many nutters about. I know one posts on here regularly.[/p][/quote]You only know one?[/p][/quote]Psst...he posts on here more than regularly! I dont think he is aware he does hence his post. ThisYear

1:59pm Mon 10 Feb 14

RochfordRob says...

And bang on cue, up he pops ! Nothing to say on the subject matter (as usual)

Had it been 'Traveller FM' he might have had something to say.

'More than regularly' ???

An oxymoron from the moron.

Do try a little harder, until then, back under the bridge.
And bang on cue, up he pops ! Nothing to say on the subject matter (as usual) Had it been 'Traveller FM' he might have had something to say. 'More than regularly' ??? An oxymoron from the moron. Do try a little harder, until then, back under the bridge. RochfordRob

7:24pm Mon 10 Feb 14

ThisYear says...

maddriver wrote:
RochfordRob wrote:
Maybe they refused a request.

Burn Baby Burn
Fire

One of those?

Being serious, there are too many nutters about. I know one posts on here regularly.
You only know one?
Psst he is at it again..
[quote][p][bold]maddriver[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]RochfordRob[/bold] wrote: Maybe they refused a request. Burn Baby Burn Fire One of those? Being serious, there are too many nutters about. I know one posts on here regularly.[/p][/quote]You only know one?[/p][/quote]Psst he is at it again.. ThisYear

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