Crews tackle Canning Town goods yard fire

Thousands of homes were left without power for almost two hours last week after a fire at a goods yard in Canning Town.

Around 60 firefighters tackled the blaze at a warehouse, pallet yard and scrapyard in Wharf Street, close to Bidder Street on Thursday.

The flames damaged overhead power cables, affecting supply to 88,000 customers in Canning Town and other parts of east London.

The incident also caused traffic misery for motorists making their way home during rush hour before the first day of the Easter weekend. Nobody was hurt as a result of the fire.

UK Power Networks engineers were called to the scene by emergency services to get power supplies back up and running.

A spokesman apologised for the disruption but said the fire did not damage the firm’s equipment.

He said: “Supplies were initially lost to 88,000 customers at 3.11pm. Power supplies to 19,000 customers were restored within three minutes, to another 38,000 customers by 3.34pm and to another 20,000 by 3.57pm, so 80,000 customers had power restored within 46 minutes.

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“The final supplies were restored at 4.21pm.”

A diesel storage tanker was also close to the fire was not said to have been affected. Onlookers from Westfield Stratford City and Canary Wharf reported seeing plumes of thick black smoke billowing against the sky.

Neighbour James Sheridan said he was shocked by the sight: “I caught the wisps of black smoke out of the corner of my eye and went to look.

“I saw the flames and then snapped a shot with my phone.”

An investigation is now under way into the cause of the fire.

Station manager Jim Morford said: “Several calls were received by the brigade’s control officers from members of the public who could see the huge plume of smoke rising from east London.

“We were obviously keen to prevent the fire from spreading to other industrial units.”