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100 firefighters tackle blaze at London boatyard

house explosion

A fire at a London boatyard caused explosions to be set off across the scene as 100 firefighters tackled the blaze on Platt’s Eyot, Richmond upon Thames yesterday.

A statement released by London Fire Brigade read: “Fifteen fire engines and around 100 firefighters were called to a fire at three industrial units on Platt’s Eyot island in Hampton.

“Firefighters tackled a fire at three disused single-storey industrial units on the island, which were completely destroyed by the fire. One 30 foot cabin cruiser was also destroyed and a further four 30 foot cabin cruisers were damaged.”

A number of gas cylinders which were involved in the fire were cooled and removed by firefighters as some cylinders can explode when exposed to heat. One man was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by London Ambulance Service crews.

Station Commander Brett Loft, who was at the scene, said: “It was a significant blaze which wasn’t helped by the high winds which fanned flames through the buildings and also created a lot of smoke, prompting more than 70 calls to our Control Officers.

“Crews used water  from a nearby reservoir to make the initial attack and firefighters carried equipment across the footbridge as it was only accessible on foot.  

“Our priority was to protect the neighbouring properties and boats that were moored which we did with covering jets.

“Along with our partners at the RNLI, our inflatable boats from the fire rescue units were able to move some of the other vessels out of harm’s way.

“Firefighters worked extremely hard in difficult conditions and manged to prevent any further fire spread, however sadly there was significant damage to a number of units, some of which were Grade-II listed, including one of the “little ships” which rescued World War Two soldiers during Dunkirk.”

Crews remain at the scene of the fire damping down this morning (Tuesday).

The fire is believed to have been accidental and caused by a stray ember from rubbish which was being burned nearby, carried by the high winds.