The London Fire Brigade has today issued a warning to Londoners holding their own firework displays, after a stray firework caused a house fire in east London on Saturday night. The firework, which flew into the roof of the house, is believed to have come from a neighbour’s amateur display. The loft inside the roof was badly damaged, but no injuries were reported.
Watch Manager Richard Barron, from Stoke Newington Fire Station, who was at the scene, said:
“There were lots of fireworks being set off nearby and it’s likely that one of them shot off in the wrong direction, hit the house and set fire to the loft. Incidents like this are the reason we encourage people to attend organised displays, rather than holding fireworks parties at home.
“At the end of the day, fireworks are explosives and can be extremely dangerous. Unless you know what you’re doing, we’d recommend you leave fireworks and bonfires to the experts.”
“It’s fortunate that no one was hurt in this case. Our fire crews did a brilliant job of bringing the fire under control quickly and keeping it from spreading.”
The fire happened on Shacklewell Lane in Dalston, in Hackney, on Saturday night. Three fire engines and around 15 firefighters from Stoke Newington and Kingsland fire stations were at the scene. The Brigade was called at 1857 and the fire was under control at 1919.
The Brigade said that the pre-Bonfire Night weekend was much quieter than expected. On Saturday night (3rd November), 999 control officers took around 100 extra calls and firefighters attended 30 more fires than on previous days last week.
For those holding their own firework displays tonight, the Brigade has offered the following advice:
• Light fireworks at arms length using a taper and stand well back.
• Never go back to fireworks once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn't gone off, it could still explode.
• Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges.
• Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire.
• Don’t leave bonfires unattended. An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with plenty of water.
Notes to editors
You can follow the Brigade on Twitter @LondonFire where they will tweet about any significant or interesting Bonfire Night fires on November 5th. Twitter followers will be offered tips on how to stay safe during the firework season.
The Brigade offers advice on Bonfire Night safety on its website.