After nearly 48 hours, Holborn fire is out

The fire which forced the evacuation of thousands of people from central London has been extinguished, nearly 48 hours after it began.

Live updates

Road closures remain in place

Kingsway remains closed but Camden Council expect it may reopen to pedestrians later today.

Other road closures include:

  • Southampton Row by Holborn station
  • Kingsway from The Aldwych to High Holborn
  • Parker Street from Kingsway to Newton Street
  • Great Queen St from Kingsway to Newton Street
  • Wild Court
  • Keeley Street
  • Kemble St from Kingsway to Wild Street
  • Portugal St from Kingsway for the first 30 metres
  • Sardinia Street
  • Remnant Street
  • Gate Street

VIDEO: thermal imaging technology used to fight fire

Firefighters on the ground had access to thermal images of the underground fire from the National Police Air Service (NPAS)

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Holborn fire extinguished

An underground fire which forced the evacuation of thousands of people in central London has been put out, nearly 48 hours after it began.

The London Fire Brigade says once the gas supply was cut off, the flames died down.

Credit: National Police Air Service (NPAS)

Firefighters had been using thermal imaging technology to track the fire and to predict where it may spread.

While the fire has been put out, a police cordon will remain in place in the area and Kingsway will remain closed.

I want to thank everyone involved in this incident for their hard work over the last few days. This has been a complicated and difficult incident to manage

– Dominic Ellis, London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner

Firefighters have thanked everyone involved for their hard work over the past two days.

"The reason it took so long to extinguish the flames is because of the dangers involved in extinguishing the fire before the gas supply is shut down, which could result in the risk of a gas explosion," London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner Dominic Ellis said.

"Firefighters managed the fire by applying water through access points which helped to stop it spreading protecting local buildings and businesses.”

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Thermal imaging technology used to fight Holborn fire

Firefighters used thermal imaging technology to track the underground fire, with help from the National Police Air Service. The white spots show were the 'hot spots' were.

Credit: National Police Air Service (NPAS)

By way of comparison, this is what the same area looks like using a normal camera.

Credit: National Police Air Service (NPAS)

Firefighters on the ground were able to access the thermal images to work out where the underground fire was, and to try to predict where it may spread.

The black spots in the image below show the heat generated by the fire, and how it affected the metal access covers.

Credit: National Police Air Service (NPAS)
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