Huge blaze destroys roof of Forest Gate Police Station

60 people were evacuated from the building during yesterday’s blaze while 175 firefighters worked to put it out

By Marco Marcelline, with help from Sebastian Mann, Local Democracy Reporter

The blaze tore through the roof last night: Credit: London Fire Brigade

A massive fire completely destroyed the roof of Forest Gate Police Station yesterday. 

Videos of the fire shared on social media show a huge blaze roaring through the police station’s roof. No injuries have been reported in the fire which the London Fire Brigade (LFB) started tackling at 4.17pm on Wednesday (6th March).

The station, which is used by officers serving Waltham Forest, will remain closed to the public today, while police look for a “temporary replacement” public front desk. The nearest 24-hour police stations that remain open are in Chingford, Bethnal Green and Ilford. 

Firefighters from Stratford, Leytonstone, Plaistow and surrounding fire stations attended the fire.

A representative from the Metropolitan Police told the Echo that the force does not believe the cause of the fire to have been suspicious, while the LFB said that an investigation into fire was likely to be “protracted” due to its scale and nature.

The Echo visited the scene at around 9.30am this morning (6th March), and saw that firefighters were still spraying water on the roof, though there was no smoke emanating from it. Sections of Romford Road and Green Street outside the station were both shut to traffic. When asked what caused the fire, present police officers and firemen said they did not know.

The scene this morning

In a public statement, assistant LFB commissioner Pat Goulbourne, said: “This was a challenging incident for firefighters as the fire was located in the roof of the police station. Crews made extensive use of our 32metres and 64m ladders to attack the fire from above, and our drone team was deployed to provided us with a view of the scene as we responded.”

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“Throughout the incident a concern for our crews was the possibility of the fire spreading to adjacent properties. Thanks to their hard work we were able to prevent that from occurring, and the fire was limited to the police station. Firefighters also conducted operations to ensure that essential police property within the building remained protected from the blaze and was moved to a place of safety.”

He added that “specialist fire investigators” will look into the cause of the fire  and that “our specialist fire investigators will now begin to carry out their investigation into the cause of the fire.”

In a statement on X (formerly Twitter) published shortly after midnight today, Kyle Gordon, the commander for Newham, said that he expected a “large emergency service presence throughout the night until the building is completely safe”.

He added: “I am fully aware of the impact this will have on our officers and staff who usually work out of Forest Gate. We have been speaking with them and making sure they have the support they require, both now and in the coming days. 

He added that the police’s ability to deliver its service in the local area “remains unaffected”. 

You can keep updated via the Newham MPS Twitter account

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