London Fire Brigade

London Fire Brigade receives 412 emergency calls as superstorm sweeps the capital

29 October 2013

The London Fire Brigade said today that it received more than 13 times the usual number of calls for a Monday morning at the height of the superstorm, St Jude.

999 Control officers received 412 emergency calls from 0600 to 0900 on Monday, of which fire engines were sent to 310 incidents. The previous Monday (21 Oct) saw Control officers take 31 calls in the same three hour window. The storm thrashed London with winds of up to 80mph and heavy rain during the early hours of Monday.

Of the 412 calls, 213 were about fallen trees, nine were about scaffolding in a precarious position, and 19 were about roofs that had become damaged in the storm.

Deputy Commissioner Rita Dexter said:

“Yesterday, the Prime Minister paid tribute to the work of the emergency services.  This was  well deserved. Our firefighters, officers and control officers worked very hard during the severe weather on Monday. As well as thanking them, I’d also like to pay tribute to colleagues from the other emergency services for their work in helping to keep Londoners safe yesterday.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the storm, including the family and friends of those who were killed or injured during the storm.”

The biggest incident that firefighters attended was a gas explosion on Bath Road in Hounslow, at which two people sadly lost their lives. The Brigade is investigating the possibility that it was caused by a tree felled by the harsh winds.

Firefighters also rescued two men from inside a synagogue on Clapton Common after a chimney stack fell onto it, causing it to partially collapse. Firefighters had to break through a wall to rescue one of the men and both were treated by London Ambulance Service. 

Other incidents attended by the Brigade include:

- A partially collapsed crane on top of a building on Whitehall. This was one of three calls about cranes.
- Metal framework in a precarious position on Old Broad Street in the City.
- A trampoline in a precarious position in Homerton.
- A gazebo blew into a house on Kensington Gardens in llford. The flying marquee caused superficial structural damage to the house. Control officers took four calls about marquees and gazebos which has been thrown about by the winds.
- Control officers received calls about solar panels in Hendon, street lamps in Willesden, and a TV aerial in Homerton.
- A burst water main on Uxbridge Road in Shepherds Bush