Sadiq Khan pays tribute to London’s firefighters

Image above: Result of fire on Tuesday 19 July; photograph London Fire Brigade

Busiest week for London Fire Brigade since Second World War

This week has been the busiest for firefighters in London since the Second World War. On Tuesday (19 July) London Fire Brigade were tackling with several fires at the same time and dealing with more than 2,600 emergency calls.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan paid tribute to them, praising their “incredible efforts” in tackling blazes across the city during this week’s extreme heat.

On a normal day, the fire service will get 350 calls, Mayor Khan said. On a busy day, the London fire service would get 500 calls. On Tuesday, the London fire service received more than 2,600 calls.

The Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner, Jonathan Smith also praised his staff:

“Firefighters across London worked in very difficult conditions to protect Londoners and their heroic actions mean no lives were lost. I am immensely proud of them and their dedication in such unprecedented heat.”

More than 40 houses and shops were destroyed in the east London village of Wennington after a number of grass fires spread to nearby buildings. Four fire engines and around 25 were called to a grass fire at a golf course on Staines Road in Twickenham. Around two hectares of trees and undergrowth were damaged by the fire.

“It is important for us to recognize that one of the consequences of climate change and these sorts of temperatures that lead to the fires you are seeing,” Mayor Khan said.

“The challenge in London is we have a lot of grass, a lot of green spaces and a lot of that impinges on properties. And when you have not had rain for a long period, when the grass is incredibly dry, fires can start very quickly and spread even faster because of wind and that leads to properties being destroyed.”

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