Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Fatal flat fire

Woodland Grove, Epping
21/06/2020 @ 06:30
Incident Number: 125168
In attendance: 2 x Harlow, 1 x Loughton, 1 x Waltham Abbey, 1 x old Harlow, 1 x Basildon, 1 x Stansted, 1 x Brentwood, 1 x Chelmsford (aerial ladder platform), 1 x Chingford (LFB)

Crews are currently at the scene of a flat fire in Woodland Grove, Epping.

The fire, which started in a ground floor flat has spread to the roof of the three storey building and is also affecting an adjacent block of flats. 

Firefighters instructed all residents to evacuate their flats.

At 8.30am the Incident Commander reported that the fire was under control and firefighters were continuing to tackle it from inside the building and above. 

Road closures are in place around the scene so please avoid the area. 

Update 9:30am

The fire has now been extinguished. Firefighters will remain at the scene to continue dampening down the building and extinguishing hot spots. Please continue to avoid the area. 

An investigation into the cause of the fire will be carried out later today. 

Update 12.15pm

Essex Police has confirmed that a man has sadly died at the scene. The statement reads:

"A man has sadly died following a fire at a flat in Woodland Grove, Epping.
"We were called by the fire service at 7am today, Sunday 21 June. They were attending the blaze and found the body of a man."

Update 12.30pm

Epping Forest District Council has opened a rest centre at the Jack Silley Pavilion at Stonards Hill, for residents affected by a fire earlier this morning.

Town and District Council staff are working with councillors to support residents of the flats in Woodland Grove where fire took hold earlier today. Read the full statement on the Epping Forest District Council website

Update 5pm

A fire investigation has now taken place and the cause of the fire has been recorded as accidental.

Fire Investigator Mark Earwicker said:

“Earlier reports suggested this fire started on the ground floor of the block of flats, however, I can confirm it started in a top floor flat before spreading to the roof and adjoining building.

“Following our fire investigation we now know that the fire started in the open plan kitchen lounge area. We have recorded the cause as accidental but because of the extent of fire damage in the flat it’s difficult to determine exactly how the fire started.

“We believe this was a tragic accident where a man sadly lost his life, and, over the coming days and weeks, we will be working hard to spread our safety messages and offer reassurance and advice to residents.

“As always, our message to every single person in the county is to make sure they have a working smoke alarm on every level of their home. It will alert you to the first sign of fire and give you more time to get out, stay out and call 999.”

Incident Images

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