Newington Green fire explosion fears lead to evacuation

Anxious residents were evacuated from their Stoke Newington homes on Saturday, amid fears of a gas explosion as a fire ravaged a nearby warehouse.

The fire broke out just before 9am inside a carpenter’s storage building in Green Lanes.

Six propane gas cylinders were found in the building, which can explode when exposed to heat.

Surrounding residents as well as staff from the Tesco store were evacuated behind a 200m cordon.

It took 20 fire fighters three hours to get the fire under control, by which time the storage building was completely destroyed.

One witness said the flames towered above the surrounding three storey buildings.

Kneale Chapman, 32, who lives nearby, said: “We thought they were going to evacuate us, but we just about got away with it.

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“We were keeping a close eye on the fire in case it started getting too near the house.”

“The sound of the hoses woke us up rather than the sirens - it sounded like they were spraying my window. It was a bit of a shock on Saturday morning.”

Buses were on diversion as Green Lanes was shut from the Newington Green roundabout for eight hours until nearly 5pm.

Arsenal Football Club warned soccer fans travelling to its match of traffic disruption and advised them to allow extra time for their journey.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.