I say ...
... it was a failed attempt by Google's Smoke Signal Department to monetize/control/dominate yet another form of communication ...
... although I wonder how they're going to route TCP/IP packets over it ...
Flame icon, obviously ...
Staff at Google's London lair have been evacuated after fire broke out. Four fire engines were called to the blaze. Reports of staff fleeing the blaze on Segways at high speed (8mph) could not be confirmed. The conflagration caused much excitement at the Daily Stenograph newspaper, which is sited opposite Google's Victoria HQ …
Any day now I expect to see a Google product announcement headline, "New Google combined Net Book-come-Phone, performs as good as the rest. Spontaneously bursts into flames, fire brigade called. Rogue third-party battery blamed. NDA's sought from all involved". Will the 'smiling campers' in the accompanying adverts have soot-black faces or will they be air-brushed to a paler tone for a Polish audience ?
Full marks though for product testing on the roof, not in an office around developers with camera-phones and well away from other prying eyes. Oh wait ... maybe not.
I also guess the roof's the place to be when Google's Streetview cars are on the prowl.
One of those roof-top areas where the pariahs^Wsecond-class citizens^Wsmokers go to inhale the smoke from burning dried weeds without annoying the rest of us (until they get back in the building, reeking of said smoke, that is ...). A dry, breezy, cloudless day, and a flat, probably tarred, roof. My guess is a carelessly discarded match or cigarette butt. Why is it that smokers don't think of discarded matches, cigarette butts and attendant packaging as litter?
Did we find the debris of the incoming flying office chair?
Also, nice article, though I'm pretty sure that your use of the term "Burning Man" (twice) infringe their copyright. They're touchy like that. Total freedom in a triple-reinforced armoured cocoon surrounded by barbed wires. But nicely padded and soft inside.
I am a great fan of all cooking that involves fire and a potential to get hurt. However, and not for lack of trying, I have not managed to take it so far that four fire trucks have had to turn up in response to my cooking.
I for one salute our BBQ-ing overlords.
PS: Anybody know if they were wearing safety "googles"?
The Internet is srs bsns, nobody seems to understand that. If Google is going to be the *ultimate* search engine, sometimes it has to create its own searches. In this case there are now several pages for the entry "fire in Google building", jobs a good 'un and it's off to the pub whilst three fire engines put out the slightly-on-fire chair.
Where are the police? I can see photographers. I don't pay my taxes so the police can stand
around NOT arresting people whilst they take pictures.They could arrest any tall Twitterers as well whilst they're at it.
From the looks of the smoke, and scale of the "fire" I'd say it was nothing more than a few bangers and burgers on a gas barbecue left unattended.
Of course they needed to evacuate 5000 people, have the local roads blocked off, mobilise four fire engines and associated fire-fighter teams and get a police helicopter in the air.
Not a disproportionate response at all.
76 Buckingham Palace Rd in case you are interested.
It's a big building, and quite new, so a decent ratio of floorspace to footprint. Squeezing in 5000 people is probably possible if you ever managed to get to 100% occupancy, but certainly not in the last week of august ;-)
They apparently have a proper roof terrace, so no tar-paper. According to a bloke I was chatting to, a gas cylinder caught fire (oops! who didn't check the connectors properly?) and then involved a potted palm tree that was nearby. As AC said above, LFB turned up mob-handed and shut down the entire neighbourhood and even a police chopper was circling overhead. Bit OTT but then that's what happens with fires in high-occupancy buildings - 'better safe than sorry' is a well-established rule.
Big boost for the local pubs and coffee shops, although we were very unfortunate. Once we saw the smoke and realised it was a proper fire rather than a short-circuit we went into The Victoria next door - but then THEIR fire alarm went off and they threw us all out. NOOOO. Fortunately we'd just got a round in, so not all was lost, but the Plumbers Arms was ridiculously packed as a result.
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