Canning Town goods yard fire ‘caused by cigarette’

A fire at a Canning Town goods yard, which cut power supplies to thousands of homes last week, was caused by a discarded cigarette, investigators believe.

The blaze took hold at a warehouse, pallet yard and scrapyard in Wharf Street from 3pm last Thursday, damaging overhead power cables.

Power was disrupted for 88,000 customers at one point, while nearby traffic lights were also out of action.

Wayne Brown, London Fire Brigade’s borough commander for Newham, said: “Our fire investigators carried out a painstaking investigation and they now believe that this huge blaze was cause by the careless disposal of a cigarette.

“It set fire to the pallet recycling yard and then spread to other parts of the site.”

The incident also caused traffic misery for motorists trying to make their way home during rush-hour. Newham Way was closed at the junction with Aspen Way to the Canning Town flyover on Thursday evening and Good Friday.

Mr Brown added: “Countless fires in the capital are caused by cigarettes each year, many of which could be easily avoided if smokers took better care.

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“This fire is a reminder of how dangerous cigarettes are and how severe the outcome can be. One simple mistake with a cigarette left thousands of homes across London without any power and caused huge damage to the site.”