Cause still unknown of Brent Cross blaze which led to misery for commuters

By Dave Speck in Local People

Firefighters are still damping down following a fire at a timber merchants in Brent Cross which caused massive disruption to road and rail travellers last night.

The fire, said to have broken out at the Busy Bee Merchants on Brent Park Road at just after 3.30pm yesterday, resulted in closures of the adjacent M1 motorway in both directions where smoke was billowing into the carriageways.

Sections of the A41, A5 and A406 North Circular were also closed - as around 80 firefighters battled the blaze in which gas cannisters exploded.

Station Manager Stephen-Remell Coleman, of the London Fire Brigade said the blaze broke out in a workshop. He said: "This was a large, challenging fire and crews worked extremely hard to bring it under control as quickly as possible.

“At its height the fire was producing a considerable amount of smoke so we advised people living and working in the area to keep their windows and doors closed as a precaution. Crews will now remain at the scene for some time damping down the fire."

Power line damage was believed to be the cause of disruption to mainline trains running through Hendon and Cricklewood.

Meanwhile, police say burnt material from the blaze dropped into the playground of the Torah-Vodaas primary school next door, but nobody was injured and there was not believed to be any damage to the school, other than smoke into open windows.

There was no disruption to Brent Cross Shopping Centre other than to the access via Brent Park Road, say police.

Police say they have informed British Waterways of a diesel leak into the River Brent.

Nobody was injured as a result of the incident. Fire teams are expected to remain on site until midday today. All major road routes are said to have reopened. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

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