News

Kingsway fire extinguished

Thermal imaging from police helicopter revealed to the London Fire Brigade the ferocity and intensity of the underground blaze. Image: @NPAS_Redhill

Thermal imaging from police helicopter revealed to the London Fire Brigade the ferocity and intensity of the underground blaze. Image: @NPAS_Redhill

The fire in the service tunnels along Kingsway has been extinguished.

The flames died down once the gas supply was isolated.

Police and the London Fire Brigade have worked at the scene for more than 24 hours. Image: Marta Malagon

Police and the London Fire Brigade have worked at the scene for more than 48 hours. Image: Marta Malagon

London Fire Brigade will remain on scene to monitor gas levels but they’ve handed the responsibility for the incident over to Camden Council.

The National Police Air Service, NPAS, helicopter unit from Redhill that provided valuable assistance to firefighters in identifying the location of the underground fire has released moving footage of what the thermal imaging camera could see from the sky.

National Grid and UK Power Networks will work to restore gas and electricity supply to local homes and businesses.

A Police cordon remains in place. Kingsway and some adjacent side streets are closed but this will be reviewed frequently over the next few days.

London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner Dominic Ellis said:

I want to thank everyone involved in this incident for their hard work over the last few days. This has been a complicated and difficult incident to manage.

The reason it took so long to extinguish the flames is because of the dangers involved in extinguishing the fire before the gas supply was shut down, which could result in the risk of a gas explosion.

Firefighters managed the fire by applying water through access points which helped to stop it spreading protecting local buildings and businesses.

The fire has caused more than 48 hours of disruption and has forced workers to flee office buildings and West End theatres to cancel shows two nights in a row.

There are still roads closed and traffic restrictions in the area.

The Brigade was initially called at 12:39 pm on Wednesday.

Crews from Soho fire station and surrounding stations have attended the incident over the past few days.

The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.

Camden Council said ‘We understand that power is being slowly restored to those affected but that the gas outage is still affecting some businesses’:

We expect electricity to be restored to those affected later today.

We stand ready to offer our support and services to all who need them.

Kingsway currently remains closed but we expect it may reopen to pedestrians later today.

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