Firefighters tackle blaze after direct strike during thunderstorm
The old fire station in Wimbledon Village was set ablaze by a direct lightning strike during the storms yesterday afternoon (July 25).
Firefighters from London Fire Brigade were on the scene promptly and were soon using a ladder to fight the blaze from above.
The picture above is from @lambjames who commented on Twitter just before 7pm: "It's getting worse, but the good old Fire Brigade have it under control".
While Wimbledon Brewery tweeted the top picture on @wimbledonbrew and said: "The old Wimbledon Fire Station was hit by lightening and caught fire. This is the site of the original Wimbledon Brewery which was destroyed by fire 130 years ago. A reasonably infrequent event by anyone’s measure."
The blaze seemed to be centred on the clock tower in the historic building, which is in the High Street, near the Church Road junction.
Although the fire was extinguised on Thursday evenging, the incident has left the road through Wimbledon Village closed this morning. While the fire was being tackled, the District Line was suspended after reports of a blaze at Wimbledon Park station.
London Fire Brigade said they believed the blaze was caused by a lightning strike and added: "Most of the two-storey building containing a shop, flat and a clock tower was damaged by the fire"
Fire Investigator Adrian Parker said: "We believe the lightning struck the clock tower which had a copper top and weather vane on it. It also struck the roof below.
"Fires caused by lightning are really uncommon but unfortunately can cause quite extensive damage.
The building was a fire station established in 1890 and housed a horse drawn steam pump called “The May Queen”.
The Brigade's 999 Control Officers took 15 calls to the fire, with the first at 6.12pm. Fire crews from Tooting, Wimbledon and Mitcham fire stations attended the scene and it was under control by 9.44pm.
July 26, 2019