London Fire Brigade

Olympic BBQ warning after Kiwi House fire

09 August 2012

With thousands of Olympic fans set to fire up their BBQs this weekend as temperatures in the capital reach their highest of the Games, the London Fire Commissioner is reminding potential garden-chefs to take extra care.

The warning follows last night’s fire at Kiwi House, where a BBQ caught fire as hundreds of Olympic fans from New Zealand were celebrating.

This weekend is going to be the hottest of the Games and the number of people holding celebratory barbecues is expected to shoot up. The Brigade is especially keen to warn people using gas barbecues to take extra care. The BBQ fire at Kiwi House involved gas cylinders, two of which exploded before firefighters arrived.

London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said:

“The Games have been a massive success and with the country set to enjoy some great weather this weekend people will be celebrating with a BBQ. Our advice is that people should enjoy themselves but take a bit of extra care. Make sure your BBQ is kept away from fences and sheds and never leave it unattended. More and more people are using gas BBQs and it is really important that the cylinders are stored safely and valves are turned off before you change the cylinder.”

Firefighters attended a BBQ blaze at Kiwi House which is a haven for friends, family and proud supporters of the New Zealand Olympic Team.

Station Manager Richard Welch, who was at the scene, he said:

"People in the vicinity reported hearing an explosion, which was due to two gas cylinders exploding before firefighters arrived on the scene. Crews have now brought the blaze under control and are cooling a further two gas cylinders down to make them safe. Around 300 people were evacuated from nearby buildings and as a precaution we've set up a temporary safety cordon of around 50 metres.

"Fortunately no was injured."

Two fire engines from Clerkenwell and Euston fire stations and around ten firefighters attended the incident.

Notes to editors: 

More Olympic safety tips are:
1)            Grab a takeaway if you’ve had a few drinks – it’s much safer than attempting to cook or use the barbecue
2)            Keep barbecues well away from fences, sheds and trees and make sure they’re completely out once you’ve finished with them
3)            Don’t use barbecues on wooden decking or balconies and never light them with fuel or petrol
If the weather take a turn for the worse, the Brigade is also keen to warn people never to take disposable barbecues inside as the carbon monoxide fumes can be fatal.