A ‘gigantic’ fire today ripped through a historic Grade-II listed boatyard on an island in the River Thames and sent plumes of smoke over southwest London.
Witnesses reported hearing explosions as the fire engulfed an industrial site on Platt’s Eyot, an island on the River Thames near Hampton, on Monday.
Those living nearby were told to close their windows after the blaze erupted at the Hampton Boat Sheds at around 5.14pm.
At least two Grade-II listed, timber-framed boathouses are understood to have been destroyed in the blaze, according to MyLondon.
The buildings, constructed in 1916, were built by Augustine Alban Hamilton Scott for the Thorneycroft firm to build fast launches carrying torpedoes for the Royal Navy.
There are four listed buildings on Platt’s Eyot in total.
Dramatic footage shows the fire raging over the Eyot, a Historic England Conservation Area, as plumes of black smoke poured 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 boatyard seen cloaked in smoke.
Several buildings were completely gutted by the fire, including industrial units.
The London Fire Brigade confirmed ‘some cyllinders’ were involved in the blaze.
A spokesperson said: ‘The Brigade were called at 5.14pm to reports of a fire by Lower Sunbury Road. An industrial unit on Platt’s Eyot is alight.
‘So far there have been no reports of injuries and the fire is ongoing.
‘Eight fire engines have been dispatched.’
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.’
The cause of the blaze remains unclear.
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.’
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.
‘The main work was done by @LondonFire.’
Source: Thanks msn.com