Families affected by Wennington wildfire allowed back to see charred remains of homes

Residents whose homes were destroyed this week by a fire that swept through Wennington have been given the chance to see the extent of the damage to their properties.

At least nine homes were destroyed in the east London village after a compost fire burnt out of control during Tuesday’s record temperatures.

Hundreds of grass fires and other blazes contributed to make it the London Fire Brigade’s busiest day since World War II.

The smell of smoke remained in the air on Thursday as a bus carrying residents returned to face the devastating scene, Metro reports.

Those affected had been warned by the London Fire Brigade that their properties had been gutted by the blaze, which spread rapidly in the searing heat.

Olufunke Akinfe and her husband Olatery have lived at their home in Wennington for 16 years and were among the fortunate residents to be told it is still standning.

Olufunke told Metro : “When I saw it, I went outside and got my hose pipe to try and help contain the flames. But when I got back to my house I saw my doormat was on fire, it was windy and the doormat was made of straw, after that the grass was on fire, then the fence was on fire too.

“I rushed out of my house only taking my phone, nothing else. I’ve had to buy flip flops and toiletries from a shop as I didn’t have anything with me.”

The 54-year-old, who works for the Post Office, said she knows four people whose homes have been destroyed.

Images from the scene showed many residents visibly upset as they inspected the damage, although others were clearly pleased to see friends and relatives still in one piece after everyone survived the blaze.

London Fire Brigade assistant commissioner Jonathan Smith said in Metro: “Tuesday’s fires are another example of how we are increasingly being challenged by new extremes of weather as our climate changes.

“We’re developing long-term strategies to deal with more incidents like this in the future.”

One of the families to lose their home in Wennington, according to a fundraising page, were the Taylor family.

Claire, Antony, and their three boys aged between eight and 18 months reportedly lost all their possessions, with more than £6,000 already donated to help them rebuild their lives.