As the UK recorded its hottest day on record with temperatures soaring past 40C, a huge grass fire broke out in Wennington East London.
As many as 41 homes were destroyed across London yesterday – nearly half of which were gutted in Wennington alone. The Norman St Mary and St Peter’s Church, mentioned in the Domesday Book, survived the blaze.
Local officials believe 19 properties were destroyed in the grass blaze, including two detached houses, two semi-detached houses, two rows of terraced houses, two outbuildings, six single-storey garages, 12 stables – as well as five cars.
Another 14 homes and 25 vehicles were destroyed in a blaze in Dagenham, while six have been left charred after a fire in Barnsley which is believed to have started in a garden shed.
Drone footage also shows firefighters battling back against a wildfire as it advanced on properties in Brancaster Staithe near Watton in Norfolk. At least five homes are thought to have been destroyed.
Now families caught up in the devastation have spoken about the moment they noticed the inferno sweeping towards them.
Some revealed how they rescued their pets, while others attempted to dig trenches in a desperate bid to stop the advancing wall of fire.
Within minutes our house was gone’: Families’ terror as their homes burned to the ground and they were forced to flee for their lives, leave pets behind and try to stop flames with paddling pools as wildfires tore through the UK
Teru and Funke Akinfe are among 20 families left homeless after fire in Wennington, east London, yesterday. The Stock family also lost their house in the fire that ripped through the village, destroying at least 19 homes. The family managed to save their two dogs and their pet tortoise from the huge blaze, but lost everything else. Gary Ruel, 63, another resident of Wennington who was evacuated from his home, fears he has lost two cats.
And today one family told MailOnline how they fear that their dream £700,000 home has been left uninhabitable following a wildfire blaze.