Sunday, July 30, 2006
Firefighters have confirmed that the large James Bond sound stage at Pinewood Studios has been destroyed by fire. It is thought eight fire engines were called to the scene near Iver Heath in Buckinghamshire on Sunday morning, where filming for Casino Royale, the latest Bond movie, has been completed.
Jen McVean witnessed the event, and she said the stage was “completely on fire”. The set had been transformed into a replica of the Italian city of Venice, but Mrs McVean, who owns a firm at the studios, said: “Nothing is salvageable and there are many, many fire engines there.” One spokesman said around 40 to 50 firefighters were at the scene.
It is reported that fire damage caused the building’s roof to fall in and firefighters were damping the flames down with specialist equipment. “We do not know the extent of the damage to the 007 stage, although it is believed to be significant,” a spokesman for Pinewood Studios said. “Filming was not taking place. A production had completed filming and its film sets were in the process of being removed,” he added.
No one was reported injured in the incident.
Pinewood, which was created in 1935, was the filming ground for Dr No, the first ever James Bond movie in 1962. It merged with Shepperton Studios in 2001, and high-budget movies like Harry Potter and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have since been filmed there.
In 1984, a sound stage caught fire, but it reopened in January 1985 and was named the Albert Brocolli sound stage in honour of the man who produced many Bond films. In 1997, Pinewood was hit by fire again after flames broke out in the roof of a sound building where The Avengers was being recorded.