Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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PHOTOS - Large number of containers alight at storage yard

Romford Road, Aveley
04/08/2020 @ 21:36
Incident Number: 128073
In attendance: 2 x Grays, 1 x Corringham, 1 x Rayleigh Weir, 2 x Brentwood, 1 x Wickford


Firefighters were called to a fire involving a number of Iso containers at a storage yard in Aveley this evening (Tuesday 4 August).

Six fire engines and a number of specialist fire engines (including a water bowser, hose layer and high volume pump) were called to assist at the scene of the fire.

Firefighters reported that the yard had around 40 containers, at least 10 are involved in the fire. The contents of the containers is unknown, but there is evidence that a number of them contain fireworks.

A safety corden was quickly established around the incident and Essex Police assisted in evacuating the immediate area.

Update 1:30am - Firefighters at the scene have reported that they are using a drone to get an overview of the fire and incident ground. Firefighters are monitoring the fire from a safe distance due to the unknown contents of the containers and the presence of fireworks.

Romford Road has also been closed to all traffic as a safety precaution.

Firefighters are working to establish additional sources of water from nearby hydrants. Firefighters will use specialist high volume pumps and extra hoses will be used to pump the water to the incident ground for when its required. Fire crews are also building water dams near to the fire to assist with the water supply.

The size of the fire has significantly reduced. A number of fire engines have now left the incident. It is expected that firefighters will be needed on scene for the rest of the day.

Update 5am - The initial exclusion zone has been reduced and everyone evacuated has returned to their homes. Four fire engines remain at the scene of the fire.

Update 6:30am - Firefighters are making good progress tackling the fire. Fire crews are using a number of hoses to tackle the fire and are in the process of opening each container to extinguish the fire. Due to the amount of water now being used on the fire and the opening of containers, local residents may see a temporary increase in the amount of smoke this morning.

Firefighters are urging everyone to continue to avoid the area while they tackle the fire. It is expected that firefighters will at the scene for the rest of the day.

Update 11:30am - Station Manager Tim Rickard said: "Firefighters are still working hard to extinguish the fire. Crews are using cutting equipment to get access to the containers which have been affected by the fire. It's important we get into each container to make sure all the contents are full cooled and there are no hot spots. 

"At the moment it looks like around 15 containers have been destroyed in the fire. The scaffolding yard has also been destroyed along with a number of vehicles which were parked here.

"This has been a long and difficult incident, but we have had brilliant support from a number of other emergency services and agencies. Our thanks go to the Environment Agency, Water Company, London Fire Brigade, Ambulance Service and Essex Police who have all played a part in helping us at this incident."

Update 5pm - Two crews remain at the scene turning over the debris and damping down hot spots.

The initial findings of the fire investigation are that the cause is unknown (accidental or deliberate). Work to try and establish the cause is continuing.

Incident Images

  • Aveley 1
  • Aveley 2
  • Aveley 3
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