West Drayton fire: 'Explosions' heard as blaze breaks out next to Heathrow Airport

10 fire engines and 70 firefighters called out to tackle flames at old coal depot north of runways

Adam Forrest
Sunday 28 April 2019 20:26
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Smoke billows as 'explosions' heard as blaze breaks out next to Heathrow Airport

Huge plumes of smoke could be seen billowing over west London suburbs on Sunday after a fire broke out near Heathrow Airport.

Witnesses reported hearing explosions as the blaze began out at an old coal depot in West Drayton just after 2pm.

Photos and video posted online showed black fumes rising across the sky north of the airport runways, close to West Drayton train station.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said 10 fire engines and 70 firefighters had been called out to tackle the spreading flames at the industrial site in Tavistock Road. A container, an industrial conveyor belt, 15 vans and three articulated lorries are still alight.

Fire station manager Jon Holt, who was at the scene, said: “The fire was very visible and produced a lot of smoke. Residents and businesses in the area should keep their windows and doors shut and drivers should avoid the area if possible.”

Around 15 people left the warehouse before the fire crews from Hillingdon, Heathrow, Feltham and other surrounding stations arrived. There were no injuries reported.

One Twitter user said: “God hope everyone is ok. This seems like a massive fire. We can hear the explosion from a far. West Drayton area.”

Another wrote: “Why have you got trains still running through West Drayton past this trackside fire with the sounds of things clearly exploding?”

Smoke from fire north of Heathrow Airport

Another wrote: “Why have you got trains still running through West Drayton past this trackside fire with the sounds of things clearly exploding?”

LFB later posted a photo showing the fire was largely under control by 6.30pm. “Fire crews will remain at the scene throughout the evening to extinguish remaining pockets of fire,” said a spokesperson.

“The brigade’s 999 control officers have taken more than 55 calls to the fire. Around 15 people left the yard before the arrival of the brigade ... The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.”

Train lines were temporary closed for the safety of rail passengers while firefighters tackled the blaze.

Heathrow Airport reported no delays to flights due to the fire.

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