Wasps Club engulfed in flames 1977

as reported in the Evening Leader 21/03/1977.

Three women were rescued from a blaze at a Wrexham night dub after a dramatic telephone call to the club manager. The Wasps Club in Chester Street was engulfed in flames and smoke at lunchtime, and club secretary Mrs. Linda Bisson, 24, of 86 Gwenfro was trapped on the top floor of the three-storey building and two cleaners Mrs. Olive Hughes and Mrs. Kathy Evans were trapped a floor below. Mrs. Bisson telephoned for help and then rang the club director – manager Mike Roberts, 30. As firemen with breathing apparatus tackled the blaze Mr. Roberts explained: “Fortunately we have a telephone link on all floors. Linda telephoned me at home and told me about the fire. “I told her not to panic, to keep near the window and stay there until the firemen arrived. “Linda then telephoned downstairs and told Olive and Kathy to keep close to the windows.” Ladders

Firemen used ladders to rescue the women and then, wearing breathing apparatus, searched the building for any further occupants. The Wasps Club, one of Wrexham’s most popular nightspots, was opened about a year ago and £34,000 was spent on decor. The disco section of the club is believed to have been the centre point of the blaze. The club is almost opposite the Kwik Save store which was destroyed last May in a fire.

All three women were taken to hospital but only as a matter of routine. They were not thought to be hurt or affected by their ordeal. Superintendent Goronwy Evans and Detective Chief Inspector Raymond Jones were among officers at the scene.

Firemen use breathing apparatus to get close to the blaze.

as reported in the Daily Post 22/03/1977

THREE WOMEN who made their escape by firemen’s ladder from a disco. club fire yesterday in Wrexham town centre were praised for not panicking. Assistant – divisional officer Alan Woodward said: They did exactly the right thing to make rescue easy.” The fire, in a first-floor lounge of the Wasp Discotheque, in Chester Street, had trapped cleaners Mrs. Olive Hughes, of Aston Grove and Mrs. Catherine Evans of The Mount and secretary Miss Linda Bisson, of Gwenfro. Cut off from escape the two cleaners made for a window and smashed it to call for help. Above them in an office on the second floor Miss Bisson also found her escape barred by smoke. She closed the door and made for the window. When firemen arrived the three women were waiting to be rescued. Firemen ran up ladders and helped them down. After a hospital checkup all three went home.

Firemen search through the debris of the night club.

Mrs. Evans said she and Mrs. Hughes were met by a cloud of smoke. “After one whiff of the fumes we nearly choked,” she said. “We shut the door, moved into a cubicle and smashed the window with some glasses. “When we shouted for help Miss Bisson in the office above heard us and opened her window. Then she found she could not get out. “When the brigade arrived, I told the firemen to get Miss Bisson out. first. It was a terrible experience and very frightening, but I tried to keep my head. If things had come to the worst, we were prepared to jump.” An eyewitness said: “The women showed no sign of panic. They just waited at the windows. In a few minutes the fire engines had arrived, and the men were putting up the ladders. It was all over very quickly.” Firemen had the blaze out in 20 minutes, but the lounge and contents were severely damaged.

Time to clear up outside the Wasps Night Club.

Source: Evening Leader 21/03/1977; Daily Post 22/03/1977; info supplied by Alan Wilkinson.