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September 10, 2019

Fire guts block of flats in London

Top Story

September 10, 2019

LONDON: A four-storey residential block has been destroyed after a fire ripped through the building in the early hours of Monday.

A charred shell is almost all that remains of the partially-collapsed development in Worcester Park, south-west London, as firefighters continue to work at the scene. The London Ambulance Service said no injuries had been reported.

Resident Stephen Nobrega, a father of three children aged between eight months and 13 years old, told the PA news agency he had “lost everything” after his ground-floor flat was destroyed.

A total of 20 fire engines and some 125 firefighters were sent to the block, which contains 23 shared-ownership flats. By dawn, crews were still present pumping water into the blackened building, as a thick plume of acrid smoke drifted across the parkland towards Morden cemetery.

The fire service said 999 control officers had received dozens of calls about the blaze. The cause is not yet known. Emergency response operations manager Cristina Dalton said: “At the moment we have six emergency response volunteers at the scene, four of whom are part of our community reserve volunteer team.

“Along with partner organisations we’re helping with practical things like emergency supplies, and providing emotional support for anyone who needs to talk about what they’re going through. We’ll stay here for as long as we’re needed.”

The block — part of The Hamptons development — is on a former sewage treatment works. A statement from Metropolitan Thames Valley, a housing association which manages the properties in the block, said: “We’re supporting emergency services on the ground and our priority is ensuring that residents are safe.”

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