Fire destroys Dunkirk Little Ship on an island in the River Thames

Tap above to watch video report by Katie Barnfield

One of the Dunkirk Little Ships which took part in the evacuation of troops in the Second World War has been destroyed after a big fire tore through boatyards on an island in the River Thames.

Platt’s Eyot was home to three of the famous vessels, and shipyard owner Tony Woollard said he could only watch as fire destroyed the site.

“I broke into building number two to see what was going on inside. By then, the fire was rushing across the trusses in the roof and within four minutes all three buildings were on fire,” said Tony.

“You’re watching it go and there’s nothing you can do about it. I’ve lost everything,” he added.

Credit: Twitter/@drbouchard/PA

Little Ship 'The Lady Gay' was completely destroyed by the fire which the London Fire Brigade believed started accidentally from a stray ember from a fire nearby.

The damage was made worse by high winds, and at the height of the fire 100 firefighters tried to bring it under control. No one was injured.

“There are no more facilities like this available… [I’m] a bit numb to say the least but life has got to go on,” said Tony.

A fundraising page set up to support those affected by the fire has raised nearly £1,000.