‘Gigantic’ fire erupts on a boatyard near River Thames


‘Gigantic’ fire ‘destroys historic Grade II-listed boatyard’ on island in the Thames sending plume of smoke across southwest London

  • Fire began at Hampton Boat Sheds on Platt’s Eyot near Hampton, London, today
  • Locals reported hearing explosions with video showing plumes of black smoke 
  • London Fire Brigade sent eight fire crews to battle the blaze at around 5.14pm

A ‘gigantic’ fire appears to have destroyed a historic Grade II-listed boatyard on an island in the River Thames as it sent plumes of smoke over southwest London. 

Witnesses reported hearing explosions as the fire engulfed an industrial site on Platt’s Eyot, an island on the River Thames near Hampton, today.

Those living nearby were told to close their windows after the blaze erupted at the Hampton Boat Sheds at around 5.14pm.

At least two Grade-II listed, timber-framed boathouses are understood to have been destroyed in the blaze, according to MyLondon. 

The buildings, constructed in 1916, were built by Augustine Alban Hamilton Scott for the Thorneycroft firm to build fast launches carrying torpedoes for the Royal Navy.  

There are four listed buildings on Platt’s Eyot in total.           

A fire erupted at Platt’s Eyot on the River Thames, Hampton, today with the London Fire Brigade in attendance

Footage from the scene shows the blaze raging over the small island, with black smoke pouring into the sky near several small boats

Footage from the scene shows the blaze raging over the small island, with black smoke pouring into the sky near several small boats

The London Fire Brigade confirmed ‘some cyllinders’ were involved in the blaze. 

A spokesperson said: ‘The Brigade were called at 5.14pm to reports of a fire by Lower Sunbury Road. An industrial unit on Platt’s Eyot is alight.

‘So far there have been no reports of injuries and the fire is ongoing.

‘Eight fire engines have been dispatched.’ 

Surrey Fire & Rescue Service was also in attendance, and said on Twitter: ‘Our Joint Fire Control received 20 calls to #Hampton Boat Sheds this evening. 

Witnesses reported hearing explosions after a fire engulfed an industrial unit on Platt's Eyot, an island on the River Thames, near Hampton, London, today

Witnesses reported hearing explosions after a fire engulfed an industrial unit on Platt’s Eyot, an island on the River Thames, near Hampton, London, today

Those living nearby were warned to close their windows after the blaze erupted at the Hampton Boat Sheds at around 5.14pm, with pillars of smoke seen across south west London

Those living nearby were warned to close their windows after the blaze erupted at the Hampton Boat Sheds at around 5.14pm, with pillars of smoke seen across south west London

‘We are currently assisting @LondonFire at this incident. 

‘Nearby residents should close windows and doors.’  

Footage from the scene shows the blaze raging over the small island, with black smoke pouring into the sky near several small boats. 

Photographs later captured the aftermath as heavy rain poured down on the area, with the ashen remains of the boatyard seen cloaked in smoke. 

The cause of the blaze remains unclear.  

Locals have suggested the direction of strong winds saved a listed residential building on the island. Pictured: The blaze

Locals have suggested the direction of strong winds saved a listed residential building on the island. Pictured: The blaze

The London Fire Brigade confirmed 'some cyllinders' were involved in the blaze

The London Fire Brigade confirmed ‘some cyllinders’ were involved in the blaze

On Twitter, eyewitness The Hamptonite said: ‘Police/fire moving people back. Lots of bangs and pops.  

‘The fire is a long way from the road, surrounded by river, but IT IS gigantic.’

They later added the blaze was blowing in the direction of a ‘handful of small boats’, including a boat used in the 2017 Christopher Nolan film Dunkirk.      

Another post said: ‘The wind direction has saved the listed residential building on the far left.’ 



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