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Inferno's rush-hour road chaos

PUBLISHED: 18:46 01 June 2009 | UPDATED: 11:02 11 August 2010

ARSONISTS struck and caused a massive fire at a motor workshop which led to evacuations and traffic chaos. Eight fire engines were called to the Holfords Motor Company on Coppen Road, off Selinas Lane near Whalebone Lane North, Dagenham, at 10.43pm on Wed

ARSONISTS struck and caused a massive fire at a motor workshop which led to evacuations and traffic chaos.

Eight fire engines were called to the Holfords Motor Company on Coppen Road, off Selinas Lane near Whalebone Lane North, Dagenham, at 10.43pm on Wednesday (May 20).

Forty firefighters from Dagenham, Barking and the surrounding areas tackled the flames at the car repair workshop for over seven hours, with the incident causing a gridlock on Whalebone Lane during rush hour on Thursday.

Two industrial sites were destroyed in the fire which involved cylinders containing acetylene - a highly flammable gas.

A hazard zone was put up because cylinders can explode when exposed to heat.

The fire was under control at 6.01am on Thursday and firefighters attended the scene for checks throughout the day.

Police were also called to the scene, which had to be cordoned off for forensic investigations.

A police spokesperson said: "Police were called to a fire at Holford Motor Co, Cromwell Centre, Coppen Road, Dagenham at 0013 hrs on Thursday.

"Buildings within the proximity of the fire were evacuated as a precaution and the surrounding area was cordoned off.

"This incident is being treated as arson and the site is still being treated as a crime scene.


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