“It could of been so much worse”
A faulty fridge is believed to be the cause behind an explosion that shocked the Harold Hill community on Sunday (March 4).
Local shop workers and residents reported hearing what sounded like a ‘huge car crash’ just before 1.30pm at the shopping centre in Farnham Road.
Jan Sargent from the Harold Hill Independent Party told The Enquirer: “Locals heard this massive crash sound that they thought was a car crash. It shook many shops and broke some glass front windows.
“The area was evacuated by police as they attended along with other members of the emergency services. The local community was fantastic it came together to support each other.”
St George’s Church in Chippenham Road, opened its doors to all the evacuees and shop workers from the nearby Sainsburys, which was evacuated, help to serve tea and coffee to those who were forced to leave their properties whilst the explosion was investigated.
“It was chaos for a while as people weren’t sure what was going on and what had caused the explosion. Many locals stood outside unsure what to do, but luckily St George’s Church opened its doors and welcomed everyone in and kept them warm with tea and coffee,” continued Ms Sargent.
The area had been cordoned off by the police until 4.30pm when the cause of the explosion was deemed to be a faulty fridge at the back of the Post Office building in Farnham Road.
Ms Sargent concluded: “It was great to see such community spirit here, how everyone chipped in to help each other during a potentially challenging time.
“This could have been much worse, thank god no one was hurt. Especially after the Grenfell Tower fire was started by a faulty fridge. It’s such a worry with old electrical appliances.”
A spokesman from the London Fire Brigade said: “ Two fire engines and a fire and rescue unit from fire stations including Harold Hill attended the scene. Part of the ground floor of a four-storey building was damaged.”
by FRANCESCA LILLEYSTONE