A ‘gigantic’ fire today ripped through two historic Grade-II listed boatyards on an island in the River Thames and sent plumes of smoke over southwest London.
Around 100 firefighters tackled the blaze as it engulfed an industrial area on Platt’s Eyot island near Hampton on Monday.
Those living nearby were advised to keep their windows and doors closed after the blaze erupted at the Hampton Boat Sheds at around 5.14pm.
Two single-storey industrial units, understood to be Grade-II listed, timber-framed boathouses built in 1916, were completely destroyed in the fire.
London Fire confirmed a number of gas cylinders were involved in the blaze, and were cooled and removed by firefighters ‘as some cylinders can explode.’
One man was treated at the scene by paramedics for smoke inhalation.
A fire erupted at Platt’s Eyot on the River Thames, Hampton, today with the London Fire Brigade in attendance
Footage from the scene shows the blaze raging over the small island, with black smoke pouring into the sky near several small boats
Dramatic footage shows the fire raging over the Eyot, a Conservation Area, as plumes of black smoke pour into the sky near several small boats.
Photographs later captured the aftermath as heavy rain poured down on the area, with the ashen remains of the boatyards seen cloaked in smoke.
Aerial images show the metal skeleton of one gutted building standing close to the crumbled remains of its former neighbour, with boats still moored nearby.
The exact cause of the incident remains unclear, and some flames are still burning.
The London Fire Brigade confirmed ‘some cylinders’ were involved in the blaze.
A spokesman said: ‘Fifteen fire engines and around 100 firefighters were called to a fire at two industrial units on Platt’s Eyot island in Richmond upon Thames.
‘Firefighters tackled a fire at two single-storey industrial units on the island, which were completely destroyed by the fire.
Witnesses reported hearing explosions after a fire engulfed an industrial unit on Platt’s Eyot, an island on the River Thames, near Hampton, London, today
Those living nearby were warned to close their windows after the blaze erupted at the Hampton Boat Sheds at around 5.14pm, with pillars of smoke seen across south west London
‘The only access on to the island was via a footbridge, therefore firefighters have carried all of their equipment to the scene by hand.
‘A number of gas cylinders were involved in the fire, they were cooled and removed by firefighters as some cylinders can explode when exposed to heat.
‘Some of the nearby boats have been moved from the area as a precaution.
‘One man has been treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by London Ambulance Service crews.’
He added that crews will remain at the scene throughout the evening to dampen down the area.
Onlookers view the terrifying blaze on Platt’s Eyot in Hampton, which destroyed two buildings
One man was treated at the scene by paramedics for smoke inhalation. Pictured: The scene
Surrey Fire & Rescue Service was also in attendance, and said on Twitter: ‘Our Joint Fire Control received 20 calls to #Hampton Boat Sheds this evening.
‘We are currently assisting @LondonFire at this incident.
‘Nearby residents should close windows and doors.’
On Twitter, eyewitness The Hamptonite said: ‘Police/fire moving people back. Lots of bangs and pops.
‘The fire is a long way from the road, surrounded by river, but IT IS gigantic.’
Locals have suggested the direction of strong winds saved a listed residential building on the island. Pictured: The blaze
The London Fire Brigade confirmed ‘some cyllinders’ were involved in the blaze
They later added the blaze was blowing in the direction of a ‘handful of small boats’, including a boat used in the 2017 Christopher Nolan film Dunkirk.
Another post said: ‘The wind direction has saved the listed residential building on the far left.’
The blog later shared an image of the aftermath of the fire as heavy rain poured on the scene, writing: ‘The wind whipped it up… then the rain helped to douse.
One witness shared an image from further away from the fire in Hampton, with smoke seen billowing above the blaze
Another shared an image of the aftermath of the fire as heavy rain poured on the scene, writing: ‘The wind whipped it up… then the rain helped to douse’
‘The main work was done by @LondonFire.’
Another witness shared an image from further away from the fire in Hampton, with smoke seen billowing above the blaze.
A third said: ‘Hampton fire on Platt’s Eyot. Boatyard on the eastern end already gutted.’
Source: Daily Mail UK