New Zealand singer Hayley Westenra was evacuated from London's Royal Albert Hall on Thursday night (27Sep13) along with thousands of concert-goers after a fire broke out in the building just 15 minutes before she was due on stage.
The star was among those due to perform during the Classic FM Live concert at the fabled venue in the British capital, but the show was called off after smoke began billowing into the building.
The audience was evacuated as fire crews rushed to the scene, and Westenra was applying her make-up in her dressing room just 15 minutes before showtime when she was ordered out.
She says, "I was just doing my make-up in my dressing room at about 7.15pm when I was told I had to leave the building. Everybody thought it would be a false alarm. After about 20 minutes waiting outside there was an announcement the show was cancelled... It's a bit unfortunate. Thankfully everyone seems to be Ok and the Royal Albert Hall seems to be okay too."
The smoke is believed to have come from a small blaze in the building's basement due to a faulty electrical unit.
A London Fire Brigade spokesman says, "Fire crews were called to deal with a small basement fire at the Royal Albert Hall... The fire damaged an electrical unit in a basement area of the concert venue and around 3,500 people were evacuated as a precaution. Two men were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation."
Disappointed concert-goers are to be offered refunds.