On 9 February 2009 the Beijing Television Cultural Center has been damaged by a massive blaze. The building, in the centre of Beijing, was adjacent to the CCTV Headquarters. At 8:27 p.m. the entire building caught fire on the last day of the festivities marking the Chinese new year and was put out six hours later. A nearby unauthorised fireworks display caused the fire.
The cause of the fire has been linked to a massive Chinese New Year fireworks display in the compound, authorized by CCTV itself, without the permission or participation from Beijing police, the Beijing Fire Department, Beijing City government, or any other governmental department.
CCTV had ignored three consecutive police interventions and warnings and had four television cameras trained on the multi-million yuan fireworks, which consisted of nearly 700 high explosive pyrotechnic devices.
Six hundred firefighters arrived on the scene to fight the blaze, which lasted five hours and caused one death and seven injuries.
The fire began on the building’s roof and spread to the lower floors, fed by high winds. Toxic fumes and a lack of working sprinklers were said to have hampered efforts to extinguish the fire.
The complex’s main building, the doughnut-shaped structure, was not damaged. The building, which was originally scheduled to open in 2009, did not seen any progress towards opening or being visibly repaired by the end of that year.