A London warehouse containing stock for a number of U.K. independent labels -- including XL Recordings, 4AD, Beggars, Domino and Rough Trade - was destroyed by rioters during a third night of unrest in the British capital.
The three-story building, which was owned by Sony DADC and located in the London borough of Enfield, was burned to the ground on Monday night (August 8). It was the main warehouse for indie distributor PIAS and handled stock for over 150 labels, as well as multiple DVD and game companies.
A statement was posted on PIAS's website earlier today, confirming the blaze.
"There was a fire last night at the Sony DADC warehouse which services the physical distribution for PIAS in the U.K. and Ireland. PIAS is working closely with SonyDADC who are implementing their emergency plans," said the statement, adding that "PIAS's U.K. offices in London and all other areas of our business are unaffected."
"For us it's devastating," Spencer Hickman, manager of London-based retailer Rough Trade East, told the BBC in an interview earlier today. "It's complete chaos; we don't know how long it's going to take them to get back on their feet. It looks like people have lost everything that was in the warehouse. I'm sure there are labels which aren't insured. I'm sure there will be labels that will go bust."
News of the fire first broke on Twitter Tuesday morning. "Our distributor PIAS burnt down last night. Not sure if we lost all our stock," tweeted a rep for U.K. imprint Young Turks, which is part of the XL Recordings group. BBC DJ Rob da Bank, who runs the Sunday Best Recordings imprint, also took to the social networking site to say that his label's stock has been destroyed. A rep for the Memphis Industries label, which includes U.K. acts the Go! Team and Field Music among its roster, subsequently tweeted, "All the stock we got left is sitting in our office. Devastated is the word."
Musicians have also taken to Twitter to condemn the London riots, which began in Tottenham, North London on Saturday following the police shooting of local resident Mark Duggan. Rioting subsequently occurred in other areas of the British capital and has since spread to other cities in the U.K., including Nottingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham.
Two North London stores of entertainment retailer HMV were among the shops affected by the first wave of violence, which saw businesses raided by looters.
"These riots are not cool," tweeted U.K. chart-topper Jessie J. "Frustrates me that I can't do anything, no one can. Anger being taken out on innocent people and innocent communities is not fair."
Alex Kapranos, singer with Domino artists Franz Ferdinand, tweeted, "Thoughts go out to all the labels who have lost their stock in PIAS fire".