Fire rips through Travis Perkins Surbiton depot

Published:  27 February, 2012

Updated 3 March 2012

SURBITON: A fire at a Travis Perkins depot in Surbiton took the fire service 17 hours to extinguished. Fire appliances carrying about 50 fire fighters were at the depot in King Charles Road at 12.30am on Thursday.

The warehouse stored large amounts of timber and although the fire service had the fire under control by the early hours it took the rest of the day to ensure that the fire did not re-start. Residents living close to the warehouse were evacuated to a nearby church as a precaution because of smoke but were later allowed to return to their homes.

The fire badly damaged the two-storey site. Station manager Glen Blah said: "Due to the timber inside the warehouse this was a rapidly developing fire but our crews worked hard to stop it from spreading and to bring it under control. Due to the heavy spread of smoke we evacuated about 50 residents living near to the building to a local church as a precaution."

Update

Residents evacuated from their homes after a fire ripped through a nearby Travis Perkins warehouse have called for an investigation into the blaze.

Twenty people living nearby met with Kingston councillors to discuss the fallout from a fire at the Travis Perkins site in Surbiton on Thursday, February 23.

They questioned whether it was safe to have a warehouse storing flammable materials in a residential area.

Alexandra ward councillor Michael Burden also wants the council to put pressure on Travis Perkins to make sure residents are properly compensated.

He said: "They have black ash all over their properties and are concerned about the damage this will to gardens, fences and allotments.

"This has been a very stressful for people in the surrounding roads and it could have been so much worse."

Travis Perkins site manager Andy Bullen said he visited affected homes in the days after the fire to reassure residents over toxicity concerns.

He said: "There was a lot of ash and thick smell of burning so I went round to speak to houses in the local area to make sure they were not concerned about toxicity.

"There are no concerns because all the site stores is timber.  Plus there is no way we would have gone ahead with the demolition without first taking advice from fire safety officers."

Travis Perkins said the fire alarm was controlled by a central office that looks after their sites nationwide though nearby residents said they did not hear it.

Bullen said he hoped to be operational in the next two weeks but admitted it could be as long as three months before the site is fully rebuilt.


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