Consumer electronics firm Sony’s distribution centre in Enfield, north London was engulfed in flames last night, potentially destroying thousands of CDs and DVDs stored at the site.
The fire at Solar Way Business Park has sparked fears that deliveries to entertainment retailers across the UK will be severely impacted, while there is naturally widespread employment uncertainty for the hundreds of staff who work there.
PIAS Distribution, a major supplier to independent record stores in the UK which was also based at the site, has reportedly been destroyed in the fire.
It is not yet clear how the fire started, but Enfield town centre is one of a number of UK communities to be heavily affected by violence and civil unrest in the last three nights that has resulted in a number of businesses being damaged and looted.
Sony said that no employees were injured in the blaze, but the company is still assessing the situation.
“The fire is under control but can be described as smouldering, consequently no-one can enter the facility,” it confirmed.
“Therefore at this time we are unable to confirm the extent of the damage or the cause until the fire is fully extinguished and a full investigation can be carried out by authorities.”
A statement released by the Metropolitan Police this morning called on residents in the areas to the south-east of the business park to remain indoors and to keep windows and doors closed.
It said: “Officers and London Fire Brigade (LFB) were called to reports of the fire at an electrical goods distribution centre in Solar Way Enfield at 23:49 BST last night. LFB sent 11 fire engines to deal with the fire that has now been put out and is in the process of being dampened down.
“However a plume of smoke is still travelling south-east from the site of the fire and while there is nothing to suggest the fumes contain harmful substances as a precaution police are asking residents to stay indoors.
“Police and LFB are liaising to investigate the cause of the fire which is being treated as suspicious at this stage.”
Electricals retailer Best Buy is scheduled to open its 11th UK store at Enfield Retail Park at the end of this month.
It is understood that the company is monitoring the situation in the community and will decide whether the planned August 26th grand opening will need to be delayed.
Retailers such as entertainment specialist HMV and supermarket Tesco have already been victims of looting in the area.
In a statement this morning however, Enfield councillor Chris Bond said that the town centre “will not surrender its streets to mindless morons”.
“Our street workers have done a marvellous job in clearing away debris last night to ensure Enfield Town is open for business,” he commented.
“This shows we will not let these criminals beat us.”