Wennington fire: Aftermath pictured from the air day after blaze wrecked London village's homes

The aftermath in Wennington the day after the east London village was struck by fire.

Aerial footage has revealed the horrifying damage to homes and cars in Wennington after a fire struck the village as a destructive heatwave swept the UK.

The east London village felt the full force of record-breaking heat as tinder-dry ground ignited before spreading and engulfing properties.

Residents fled their homes in disbelief and took temporary shelter in a hotel as firefighters fought the flames amid London's 40C high on Tuesday.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said the London Fire Brigade received more than 2,600 calls throughout the day – seven times the usual number.

"Yesterday was the busiest day for the fire service in London since the Second World War.

"Yesterday they received more than 2,600 calls – more than a dozen simultaneous fires requiring 30 engines, a couple requiring 15, and some requiring 12," Mr Khan told Sky News.

The mayor said 41 properties, including homes and warehouses were destroyed in London, as he urged Londoners not to have barbecues whilst conditions continued to be very dry.

In Wennington the fire destroyed two rows of terraced houses, four other homes, as well as outbuildings, garages, stables and cars and affected 40 hectares of grassland.

An entire street became engulfed in flames in one area, with neighbours gathering together to seek refuge in a local church, residents said.

Resident Tim Stock likened the wreckage to a scene from the Blitz after his family home of 60 years was destroyed by the fire.

Councillor Ray Morgon said “around 18 or 19” houses were understood to have been destroyed by the grass fires in Wennington.

Large parts of the village are still blocked off and emergency services remain at the scene assessing the damage into Wednesday.

A firefighter at the scene in Wennington on Tuesday described the conditions as “absolute hell”.

But residents praised the work of emergency crews and the local community, describing the effort to rally together in the aftermath as “heartwarming”.

Those left with nothing in the aftermath said people had been “lovely” to them, offering mobile phones and other resources and handing out bottles of water.

A fundraising page set up by former residents of Wennington has raised thousands so far for villagers affected by the devastation.

The destruction in Wennington came amid a spate of fires across London that saw the capital’s fire brigade experience its busiest day since the Second World War.

A housing team was helping people with immediate accommodation as a wider housing assessment was being taken of the area.

One resident said: “It was like a warzone. Down the actual main road, all the windows had exploded out, all the rooves had caved, it was like a scene from the Blitz really.”

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