IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Mystery blaze, two days after drugs raid

Fire at derelict Holloway Road property that was once home to the Metro Music shop

17 February, 2017 — By Koos Couvée

Fireighters tackle the fire in Holloway Road and, right, police at the drugs raid two days earlier

POLICE are investigating after a fire broke out at a mysterious property in Holloway Road on Saturday morning – two days after the premises were raided by drug squad officers.

The derelict building, once home to the Metro Music shop – which appears to have been closed for years – is located just south of the railway bridge, near London ­Metropolitan University.

Six fire engines and 35 firefighters were called to the building at 6.30am. The whole of the second floor and roof of the property were damaged in the blaze, but there were no reports of any injuries.

Crews from Holloway, Islington, Soho, Kentish Town, Euston and Shoreditch attended the incident and had the fire under control by 8.20am.

Islington Police told the Tribune drugs were seized from the address last Thursday but because officers are still looking for the people ­connected to the premises, the force was not prepared to say any more. There have been no arrests.

According to one man, who works nearby but did not want to give his name, the premises had been used to sell drugs for a period of six months.

Police at the drugs raid, which took place two days earlier

“About six months ago two guys come and started drilling in the door,” the man said.

“I called the police but I was told it was a civil matter. I used to check on the building for Arsenal [who according to him own the building]. Sometimes there were homeless people in there who came into the building from the tracks.”

The man said the new occupants of the building installed CCTV and an electronic door-key ­system, and “people ­started coming and going at all hours”.

Following the police raid on Thursday, Arsenal maintenance staff came and secured the property, he said. The blaze occurred the ­following day.

Officers also removed a cat from the building, and have notified the RSPCA. A police notice stuck on the front door of the property said the charity wanted to make contact with the owner “to discuss the welfare of the animal”.

The Tribune tried to contact Metro Music, but were unable to find any contact details, or records of the company’s owners at Companies House. There also appeared to be no record of ownership of the property on the Land Registry.

Arsenal FC did not provide the Tribune with a comment as we went to press.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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