Hundreds of people were forced to evacuate popular venue 170 Russell in Melbourne on Saturday after a fire broke out at around 10pm.
Patrons were attending the musical comedy bingo event Bingo Logo, with the incident occurring as the event was beginning to wrap up. Attendees noticed a small fire had started in the top right corner of the stage, alerting host Alex Dyson. Dyson then promptly asked patrons to leave.
“He went from party to professional in, like, a second flat, my friends and I got out, like, ASAP within, like, five minutes of spotting the fire and letting someone know,” attendee Andrea told The Age.
“The only real concern was about people who were too drunk to take it seriously.”
A show by K-pop girl group Dreamcatcher that was scheduled for last night was forced to be cancelled, with the venue’s entertainment manager Ben Thompson said the venue would likely be out of action for a few days. American rapper Pouya is currently booked to perform at the venue tomorrow night, with metal icons Cradle of Filth scheduled to play on Friday.
“We’ve got a show on Tuesday night and we’re hoping at this point we will have the venue up and running by then.”
“It’s a little hard to tell the extent of the damage, but it looks like predominantly water damage as opposed to fire damage,” he said. “It happened at the end of an event. People were evacuated and no one was hurt – and that’s the most important thing, the safety of our patrons.”
The cause of the fire is not yet known, with the venue waiting to hear back from investigators.