Fire investigators believe a fire at a fencing company on George Street in Romford during the early hours of this morning was started by a stray New Year’s Eve firework.
The fire destroyed a trailer unit which was being used to store timber, a stack of fence panels and two neighbouring garden sheds.
Watch Manager Alan James from Hornchurch fire station who was at the scene said there were a lot of fireworks in the area and that fire investigators who attended the scene believed one had landed on the roof of the trailer unit and burned through to the dry timber inside.
He added: “Crews gained access to the site quickly and worked hard to get the fire under control and managed to stop it spreading further. Thankfully we were able to save the workshop and a delivery van belonging to the business.
"This incident also shows just how dangerous fireworks can be and why we always advise that you go to an organised display. New Year celebrations may have ended now but if you are tempted to use any fireworks you might have left over, make sure you follow the firework safety code to minimise the risk of having a fire or being injured."
The Brigade was called at 0054 and the fire was under control by 0155. Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers from Hornchurch, Harold Hill, Dagenham and Ilford fire stations attended the incident.
• Only buy fireworks marked with the British Standard Kitemark BS7114
• Don't drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
• Keep fireworks in a closed box and always follow the instructions carefully when using them
• Light them at arms length using a taper and stand well back
• Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn't gone off, it could still explode
• Never throw fireworks and never put them in your pocket
• Respect your neighbours – don’t let off fireworks late at night and remember there are laws to follow
• Take care with sparklers – never give them to children under five. Even when they have gone out they are still hot so put sparklers in a bucket of water after use
• Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening