A ‘gigantic’ fire today ripped through two historic Grade-II listed boatyards 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 in the River Thames near Hampton, on Monday.
Those living nearby were warned to keep their windows and doors closed 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, MyLondon reported.
The buildings, constructed in 1916, were built by Augustine Alban Hamilton Scott for the Thorneycroft firm to create fast launches carrying torpedoes for the Royal Navy.
There are four listed buildings on Platt’s Eyot in total.
A fire erupted at Platt’s Eyot on the River Thames, Hampton, today with the London Fire Brigade in attendance
Footage from the scene shows the blaze raging over the small island, with black smoke pouring into the sky near several small boats
Dramatic footage shows the fire raging over the Eyot, a Conservation Area, as plumes of black smoke poured into the sky near several small boats today.
Photographs later captured the aftermath as heavy rain poured down on the area, with the ashen remains of the boatyards seen cloaked in smoke.
At least two buildings were completely gutted by the fire, including industrial units.
Aerial images show the metal skeleton of one destroyed building standing close to the crumbled remains of its former neighbours.
The exact cause of the incident remains unclear, and some flames are still burning.
The London Fire Brigade confirmed ‘some cyllinders’ were involved in the blaze.
A spokesman 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.’
Witnesses reported hearing explosions after a fire engulfed an industrial unit on Platt’s Eyot, an island on the River Thames, near Hampton, London, today
Those living nearby were warned to close their windows after the blaze erupted at the Hampton Boat Sheds at around 5.14pm, with pillars of smoke seen across south west London
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.’
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.’
Locals have suggested the direction of strong winds saved a listed residential building on the island. Pictured: The blaze
The London Fire Brigade confirmed ‘some cyllinders’ were involved in the blaze
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.
One witness shared an image from further away from the fire in Hampton, with smoke seen billowing above the blaze
Another 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.’
Another witness shared an image from further away from the fire in Hampton, with smoke seen billowing above the blaze.
A third said: ‘Hampton fire on Platt’s Eyot. Boatyard on the eastern end already gutted.’