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Blaze breaks out at Barking business park after oil-soaked paper towels ignite

PUBLISHED: 11:42 26 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:27 26 August 2020

Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters were at the scene of an industrial unit fire in a business park on River Road, Barking. Picture: London Fire Brigade

Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters were at the scene of an industrial unit fire in a business park on River Road, Barking. Picture: London Fire Brigade

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Oil-soaked paper towels are believed to have caused an overnight blaze at a business park in Barking.

Fire crews were called to a blaze at a business park in River Road, Barking at 2.30am on Wednesday, August 26. Picture: GoogleFire crews were called to a blaze at a business park in River Road, Barking at 2.30am on Wednesday, August 26. Picture: Google

Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters attended the scene in River Road after the brigade was called at 2.30am this morning (Wednesday, August 26).

Part of a multi-purpose, single-storey industrial unit was damaged by the fire and no injuries were reported.

Investigators believe the fire was caused by oil-soaked paper towels heating up and igniting.

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A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Natural fibres, such as cotton found in cloths, are susceptible to spontaneous heating and self-combustion.

“When this is mixed with materials such as oils or cleaning products, the likelihood of a fire increases as temperatures can build up to a point where the material smoulders and eventually ignites.

“When using oils and cleaning products with cloths, make sure you wash them at the right temperature with the appropriate detergent to remove any oil-based contaminants.

“Also make sure you wait for your laundry to cool down before packing it away and store it in a well-ventilated place.”

The fire was under control by 4.14am.

Crews from Barking, East Ham, Plaistow, Ilford and Dagenham stations were at the scene.


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