Heatwave: Fire crews still battling blazes after ‘busiest day since World War Two’

More than 40 homes destroyed in London, city’s mayor says

Zoe Tidman
Wednesday 20 July 2022 10:11 BST
Sadiq Khan confirms 41 properties destroyed by fires across London amid heatwave

Firefighters are still working to extinguish fires that caused devastation on the UK’s hottest day on record.

A number of fire services declared major incidents on Tuesday as the number of blazes and demand surged during the heatwave.

Blazes destroyed houses and wildfires burned acres of land across the country on what has been called London Fire Brigade’s busiest day since the Second World War.

Crews continued to work to completely extinguish fires the following morning.

All significant fires that erupted in London are now under control, a spokesperson for London Fire Brigade told The Independent.

But the service said on Wednesday morning it would remain at the scene of many to “damp down hotspots”.

Blazes erupted across the capital on Tuesday, including behind shops and flats in Wembley, a park in Croydon and a residential area in Wennington where homes were destroyed.

Houses were destroyed in the Wennington blaze
Houses were destroyed in the Wennington blaze (Getty Images)
Wennington in London was one of the areas to be hit by blazes on Tuesday
Wennington in London was one of the areas to be hit by blazes on Tuesday (Getty Images)

The next day, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said: “Yesterday was the busiest day for the fire service in London since the Second World War.”

He said the service would normally receive 350 calls on a normal day and 500 on a busy one - but it received more than 2,600 on Tuesday. More than 40 homes were destroyed, the mayor added.

Other parts of England saw a surge in fires during the hottest day of the heatwave, including, Pembrokeshire, Kent, Leicestershire, Norfolk and Suffolk.


Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said it dealt with an “exceptional amount of incidents” on Tuesday.

This included a “significant fire” in Blidworth, where crews remained to stamp it out on Wednesday morning.

“The fire is under control and crews are working hard to extinguish any hotspots that may appear,” ithe fire service said.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue service said it also had crews at some incidents on Wednesday morning, but it would be standing down its major incident status.

The blazes tore through homes and land as the UK recorded 40C heat for the first time in known history.

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