An elderly woman cried hysterically and said, “Oh my God – the house is gone.”
A fire that broke out in nearby fields spread to a residential area, destroying buildings and gardens.
An elderly woman cried hysterically and said, “Oh my God – the house is gone” while her family tried to comfort her.
Black smoke billowed from the east London village and a rescue center was set up for residents at a nearby Premier Inn.
Meanwhile across London, damaged homes, schools and churches burn with firefighters describing the scenes as “absolute hell”.
Several other significant incidents have also occurred, with people being urged not to host barbecues or bonfires due to the “unprecedented” challenges crews have faced.
What happened at Wennington?
Two “large scale” incidents occurred in Upminster and the east London village of Wennington, with black smoke billowing into the air.
A firefighter at the scene in Wennington told the PA news agency the conditions were “absolute hell”.
Those affected by the fire said it spread “quickly”.
Local residents were comforted while others removed gas canisters from a nearby pub as hundreds of firefighters were at the scene.
At least one house was completely destroyed by the fire, others appeared to be badly damaged
Local resident Janet Hickey, 70, who has end-stage pancreatic cancer, said she was forced to leave all her cancer medication behind when they were evacuated.
Her husband Patrick Hickey, 71, added: “We had to leave everything behind.
“We hope against all hope that our house is still there.”
Riminta Maceikaite, 38, and her son Nikas Janulevicius, 13, said their neighbors’ homes burned down, but as far as they can see from the aerial footage on TV, their house is still standing.
Lizzie Pittman, from Aveley in Essex, who works at some roundabout stables, said she was looking after five horses that were evacuated.
She said, “This is your worst nightmare.
“You can see it getting closer and closer.”
She added: “People are losing their homes, but this is brick and mortar.
“People are losing their livestock”
Local resident Lynn Sabberton, who said she was evacuated from her home with her partner who is suffering from lung problems, told Sky News: “I saw the black smoke and the helicopters were coming by and more cops were coming into our neighborhood and it really spread very quickly.
“It just spread so quickly, I think the wind carried the fire our way towards the village.”
The Premier Inn, which was set up as a rescue center for residents, also had no power for around an hour.
A firefighter told the PA news agency that the fire may have hit the main power line.
Premier Inn residents were later advised to find alternative accommodation for the evening.
A recreation center was set up at the Hornchurch Sport Center where air mattresses were provided.
Havering Council chief executive Andrew Blake-Herbert said: “We need people to avoid the Wennington area where possible and local people to keep doors and windows closed to protect them from smoke and ash.”
How many fires were there in London on Tuesday afternoon?
In addition to the fire that broke out in Wennington, there were many other incidents across the capital.
- 30 fire engines at a grass fire on Pea Lane in Upminster.
- 12 fire engines tackle a fire involving picket fencing and trees on Uxbridge Road in Pinner.
- 10 fire engines tackle a restaurant fire in Green Lanes in Southgate.
- Eight fire engines tackle a grass fire on Oaks Road in Croydon.
- Eight fire engines tackle a grass fire on Ballards Road in Dagenham.
- Eight fire engines tackle a fire on Broadway in Wembley.
- Six fire engines tackle a grass fire on Sunningfields Crescent in Hendon.
- Four fire engines tackle a grass fire at Chapel View in Croydon.
- Four fire engines tackle a fire on Sidcup Road in Eltham.
What other incidents happened in London due to the heatwave?
In London, residents were evacuated from their homes and people taken to hospital amid fires as temperatures soared to over 40C on Tuesday afternoon.
Homes were evacuated in Dagenham after a “significant grass fire” that affected several buildings.
Two people were also hospitalized with smoke inhalation – the full number of victims is not known at this time.
Fires were also seen alongside a motorway on Dartford Heath.
Liam Edwards, 25, from Bexley, a student at Oxford Brookes, spoke about the fire at the A2 in Dartford.
He said: “It was huge as we left several fire engines behind. I’d like to say it’s under control, but who knows at this point?
“I’ve lived in London and Kent all my life, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Sadiq Khan said the London Fire Brigade (LFB) had received more than 1,600 calls for help by late Tuesday afternoon.
Jonathan Smith, Deputy Commissioner at LFB, told the PA news agency: “We have had a number of incidents today, some of which appear to have been the result of the dry woodland and grasslands in central London and the suburbs.
“This has caused the fire to spread rapidly, affecting properties, homes, schools, churches and other types of buildings.”
Mr Smith added: “At the moment due to the sheer number of incidents we are attending today, we will be collating all this information and ensuring that each incident is thoroughly investigated.
“Once we’ve done that, we can have an accurate picture of exactly the incidents we took part in, how many homes were affected and if there were any casualties.”
The London Ambulance Service said the total number of people hospitalized may not be known until Wednesday morning.