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Firefighters tackled a large fire at a car dealership on the High Road in Chadwell Heath, Romford on Saturday night and into Sunday morning.
At the height of the fire, 125 firefighters were in attendance and some parked cars, a large pile of car tyres and an adjacent warehouse were alight. There were no reports of any injuries.
The Brigade's Control Officers took 39 calls from people alerting the Brigade to the fire which was very visible and local road closures were in place. A number of nearby residents were also evacuated as a precaution.
Assistant Commissioner Graham Ellis, who was at the scene, said: "In the early stages of this fire, quick thinking firefighters were able to make the area safe enough for around 40 cars at the dealership to be driven out of harms way. This stopped them being an explosion risk but it also saved many thousands pounds worth of vehicle damage. They also removed a number of cylinders which can explode when exposed to heat.
“The fire spread to a pile of tyres which created a lot of thick black smoke and we advised local residents to avoid the area and keep windows and doors shut.
“The combination of cars, cylinders, petrol, tyres and a lot of thick smoke made this a very difficult fire to tackle. Crews did a good job from preventing the fire from spreading beyond the car dealership.”
Seven vehicles, the car show room and warehouse were completely damaged by the fire.
The Brigade was called as 2210 on Saturday evening and the fire was under control at 0720 on Sunday.
Firefighters are still damping down hotspots and expect to be at the scene throughout Sunday morning. The area is still quite smoky and so residents should still keep windows and doors shut.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Brigade and the Metropolitan Police Service.