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First pictures from the wreckage of burned out vehicles incinerated in South Woodford church fire

PUBLISHED: 11:57 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:57 21 February 2020

The scene outside Woodford Methodist Church after a generator exploded yesterday. Picture: Roy Chacko

The scene outside Woodford Methodist Church after a generator exploded yesterday. Picture: Roy Chacko

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An exploded generator outside a South Woodford church left three vehicles sitting abandoned and burnt out at the roadside and damaged the building’s exterior.

Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters were called to Woodford Methodist Church in Derby Road yesterday (Thursday, February 20) at around 11.45am.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) investigators believe the fire was accidental and was caused by a spillage of fuel into a generator causing an explosion.

One passerby at the scene said it looked like a warzone. Picture: Roy ChackoOne passerby at the scene said it looked like a warzone. Picture: Roy Chacko

Two cars and a van were completely destroyed by the blaze and part of another car and a small part of the exterior of a church were also damaged by fire.

One man was treated on the scene by London Ambulance Service paramedics.

Damage from two vehicles in the fire. Picture: Roy ChackoDamage from two vehicles in the fire. Picture: Roy Chacko

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It took firefighters nearly an hour to control the fire.

The exterior of the damaged church. Picture: Roy ChackoThe exterior of the damaged church. Picture: Roy Chacko

The church sent a text message to staff and volunteers yesterday notifying them of the fire and said: "No one is badly hurt but we do have a lot of shaken church volunteers."

The church's exterior is damaged but the church and hall are still in use.

One man was treated at the scene but not taken to hospital. Picture: Roy ChackoOne man was treated at the scene but not taken to hospital. Picture: Roy Chacko

Fire crews from Walthamstow, Chingford and Leytonstone fire stations attended the scene and the LFB received 21 calls about the fire.

An eyewitness in a building nearby told the Recorder they had heard a commotion and a large bang outside, but didn't think anything of it until they heard the sirens of fire engines a few minutes later.

One of the cars which was completely incinerated. Picture: Roy ChackoOne of the cars which was completely incinerated. Picture: Roy Chacko

He told the Recorder: "We didn't even smell the smoke, but all of a sudden there were a load of firefighters outside and they told us there were two cars on fire.

"We've been told we can stay where we are so I think they've got it under control now."


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