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Fifteen fire engines and 97 firefighters and officers were called to a fire at industrial units on Yarnton Way, Erith in the early hours of this morning.
A storage warehouse was completely destroyed by fire and it also damaged two adjacent units. Three lorries were also badly damaged by the blaze. The smoke and fire could be seen from miles away and 999 control operators took over 50 calls in the early stages of the incident.
Station Manager Norman Perry, who is at the scene, said:
“Fire crews worked hard to bring this under control. The blaze was in an industrial area and we managed to stop it spreading to any residential homes. We are likely to be at the scene throughout the morning damping down pockets of fire.”
The police are renewing appeals for witnesses following the fire which they believe was deliberate. Officers have released CCTV of a man they wish to speak with who was at the scene of the fire shortly before it began.
The man is described as white and is believed to be in his early 20s. He was wearing distinctive camouflage clothing and a camouflage hat.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Holmes of Bexley Police, who is leading the investigation, said: "I am appealing to anyone who recognises the man in this footage to contact police, or Crimestoppers anonymously.
"I am sure that someone will know who he is. I would also ask, does anyone know or remember anyone of this description - wearing camouflage clothing - on Friday night into Saturday morning in Erith or the local area?
"I would also urge the man seen in the footage to come forward and speak with police.
"Thankfully, no one was hurt but the fire has caused vast damage in the area."
The Brigade was called at 0202 and the fire was under control by 0540. Fire crews from Greenwich, East Greenwich, Plumstead, Erith, Lee Green, Eltham, Deptford, Poplar, Shadwell, Bexley, Lewisham, Millwall and Sidcup fire stations attended the incident.