Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Unigate Dairy fire

courtesy of @phillipanews - view from BBC TVC
Thick black smoke is covering much of the Bush this morning, as a fire is busily destroying the Unigate Dairy building on Wood Lane. Cue some breathless reporting from our local media about it all being "terrifying" but for those of you seeking a balanced and factual account of things today you could do worse than either tune in to LBC or keep checking the BBC website reporting the story here

Fifty firefighters and 10 engines are apparently in attendance and nobody has been reported hurt. Thank goodness. Follow the London Fire Brigade here.

Keep your fellow Bushers updated via the comments, normal drill folks.

The scene from S Africa Rd - smoke still rising
1330 UPDATE - I have to say, having just walked through the Bush, from Goldhawk Road, the Market, Wood Lane and then up through the streets towards Uxbridge Rd again, I have rarely seen it this, well, weird. Intensely cold, with many of the roads cordoned off it seemed as if the irate traffic was infecting passers by too.

Cyclist was on road behind ambulance - deliberately didn't take his image
I saw a fight spill out of a betting shop on Goldhawk Road, then a cyclist being treated by paramedics on the same road, before stopping to help another cyclist who had crashed into a car. He wasn't hurt.
Bush Green part sealed off - gridlock ensues

Wood Lane deserted and sealed

The sirens seem to be wailing away non-stop all over the place and the centre piece of the drama is of course the dairy building which has been reduced to a smoking hulk. Firefighters are wandering around visibly tired and Police were being reinforced as I was there. One Constable, speaking on condition that I didn't identify them, told me that they had been there since the morning and hadn't eaten - they weren't impressed.
Wood Lane 

Wood Lane is cordoned off so those from the BBC who need to get from the White City building to TV Centre are having to walk through a low rise estate on the corner of Wood Lane itself - I saw Matthew Amrolliwala walking through chomping on a sandwich!
Wood Lane plus Fire Engines - through smoke haze

Junction of S Africa Rd & Wood Lane

Here are some pics which capture this bizarre day as it still unfolds.

Bloemfontein Rd - seconds later a cyclist hit a car
1430 UPDATE - In a farcical development the BBC White City building has just been evacuated due to ... a false fire alarm! Well, that should lead to some hot air in the facilities department - despite the real fire over the road it's a cold cold day to be standing around outside for the good people of the Beeb.

1500 UPDATE - The fire has been brought under control although Police on the scene tell me it is still smouldering. The Fire Brigade are trying to cool some of the cylinders in the building to avoid explosions due to the heat.  Some of the engines, according to reader comments, have come all the way from East London.

1800 UPDATE - The Fire Brigade have just issued the following update:

"The fire on Wood Lane is now over. It damaged a no. of industrial units and 20vehicles.Cylinders on the site have been cooled + made safe"


  1. Must have been serious - I saw 3 fire engines on Bush Green - 1 from Bow, 1 from Poplar and 1 from Romford - long way to come.

  2. Amazing photographs. Thanks for covering this.

  3. Thank you for the fantastic coverage

  4. top drawer local reportage from our intrepid #bushW12 reporter Chris - well done, keep up the good work!

  5. Great pictures of cars. Really gave me a feel for what a traffic jam is like. Straight to what we needed to know without having to read through lines about what caused it and information of injuries etc.

    So sad to read about the poor constable that hadn't eaten anything for a couple of hours.

    Hopefully you are somewhere warm and your feet aren't so cold now Chris.

  6. That'll be Adam Courtney of the Chronicle doing his anonymous thing on your blog again Chris. Poor love, he can't handle the fact that your reporting is way better than his.

    I am going to email you a way of working out which IP address people are typing from - that way you'll be able to prove it one way or another - and poor Adam will have to explain to everyone why he feels the need to do this sort of thing. You should publish it.

    He must be compensating for something.

  7. Wood Lane still closed from Ariel Way north (dunno about south from A4). Cylinders I am told take 24 hours to cool so the road will be closed all night. OK though as you can turn right and then get onto the West Cross route. Central line now stopping at White City it seems - well one train did so I assume that the rest will from now on.

  8. Thank you Chris for your coverage, it's good to get this local info and you've done a good job.

    Don't listen to anyone who implies otherwise.