Street like a 'warzone': Shocking clip shows aftermath of wildfire in London

20 July 2022, 11:30

Extent of damage done by fires in Dagenham seen after record-breaking heatwave

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Shocking video footage has emerged showing the damage caused by wildfires in east London as record-breaking temperatures sparked the busiest day for firefighters in the capital since World War Two.

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The footage shows destroyed houses and scorched land in near-apocalyptic scenes in Dagenham.

One local resident who filmed the clip can be heard comparing the scene of devastation to a "f***ing warzone".

Firefighters battled the "significant grassfire" in Ballards Road on Tuesday as the mercury topped 40C in parts of the capital.

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Eight fire engines were sent to the scene.

The blaze affected a number of buildings and left a man and woman in hospital due to smoke inhalation.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said this morning that a total of 41 properties had been destroyed by fires in the capital in the heatwave.

Firefighters battled a "significant grassfire" in Dagenham as temperatures soared
Firefighters battled a "significant grassfire" in Dagenham as temperatures soared. Picture: London Fire Brigade

He said it was the busiest day for the London Fire Brigade since World War Two.

Elsewhere, two "large-scale" incidents took place in Upminster and the village of Wennington, also east London, where black smoke billowed into the air, while flames destroyed buildings and ravaged nearby fields.

Several other significant incidents also occurred in the capital, with people urged not to have barbecues or bonfires due to the "unprecedented" challenges crews face.

Footage shows Wennington fire devastation amid UK heatwave

In total there were more than 19 major fires in London alone, with more burning up and down the country.

A number of fire services declared major incidents as they struggled to cope with the surge in demand.

A new record for the hottest day ever seen, of 40.3C, was recorded in Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, on Tuesday afternoon - beating the previous record of 38.7C in Cambridge three years ago, by 1.6C.

Temperatures have dropped by up to 10C in some areas on Wednesday, with heavy showers and thunderstorms lashing parts of the country, potentially causing localised flooding.