Nottingham train station is to reopen on Saturday morning following a huge fire caused by a suspected arson attack.
East Midlands Trains said it expects many services to run as normal after major disruption on Friday, with thousands of football fans expected to travel to and from the city on Saturday for Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa at the City Ground, as well as Notts County’s away trip to Lincoln.
The rail operator’s managing director, Jake Kelly, said that structural engineers had given the all-clear for the station to reopen at 4.45am despite damage to the main concourse roof and toilets, but urged passengers to check the latest travel information before they make their way there.
“While we will be able to run many of our normal timetabled services, there will continue to be some disruption in the next few days as a result of the fire,” he added.
“Some of our normal facilities at Nottingham station will also not be available immediately.”
Around 60 firefighters battled to extinguish the blaze at the Grade II listed station, which started in a block of toilets at around 6.30am and spread to the main concourse and roof, but no one is believed to have been hurt.
Police superintendent Sandra England said on Friday: “Enquiries have been ongoing today and we now have reason to believe the fire may have been started deliberately.
“Officers are working to identify anyone who may have been involved in the incident, and we are appealing for information from members of the public.”
In a video posted on Twitter, incident commander Bryn Coleman said crews had been “offensively firefighting” using breathing apparatus, with firefighters in “some real severe conditions in terms of heat and smoke”.
He told Sky News that officers were now investigating and appealing for witnesses.
“Obviously the CCTV is a crucial part of the investigation. There’s a lot of CCTV in the station that we need to seize and locate,” he said.
Fire officer John Mills told the Nottingham Post it was the worst blaze firefighters in the city had seen for 20 years.
“This is about complexity rather than the size of the fire,” he said. “People driving through the main roads in the city will barely see any smoke.
“That is because the fire is burning continuously through voids, which puts it out of sight and makes it incredibly difficult for us to locate.”
:: Details of any continued disruption at the station can be found at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk.
(c) Sky News 2018: Nottingham train station fire being treated as arson