A Shurgard self-storage warehouse in Croydon has almost been completely rebuilt after it was burned down in a huge fire on New Year's Eve in 2018. The devastating blaze ripped through the entire warehouse, located on Purley Way, destroying all 1,198 units on its site. It sadly saw families lose valuable and sentimental items that were locked inside the units. At the worst point of the fire, 20 fire engines and around 125 firefighters were on the scene trying to tackle the flames.
But in the end the damage was so bad that the whole storage had to be knocked down. Now, 18 months after the fire, the brand new warehouse is nearly complete. Shurgard got planning permission to go ahead with the building in September 2019. The new four-story building is to contain 1,100 units. It will have sprinklers and a water tank to "enhance fire safety".
destruction of the original building
The planning report explains the main difference between this new storage and the old one is the shape of the roof. The old warehouse had a shallow pitched roof while the new one will have a flat roof with a parapet.
According to the report: "One of the principle drivers for this change is directly related to the devastating fire which caused the destruction of the original building. The new building will have sprinklers installed which has caused the floor to floor heights to increase. By utilizing the flat roof, it has allowed sprinklers to be accommodated while still keeping the height of the building below that of the original ridge line."
fire fighting stairs
The London Fire Brigade received its first call about the blaze at 7.47pm on December 31, 2018
The report also details further fire safety measures being installed, including emergency exits and fire fighting stairs. Its paneling has been subject to testing from bodies like ISO, the British Standards Institute and the National Fire Protection Agency.
The London Fire Brigade received its first call about the blaze at 7.47pm on December 31, 2018. In total that night they got 147 calls about the fire. By 9pm the fire was at its peak with well over 100 firefighters tackling it. Fire investigators weren't able to examine the scene to look for the cause of the fire as it was deemed the structure could collapse. It was knocked down on January 9 for this very reason.
Huge monetary loss
Two men, 26 and 25 years old, were arrested on suspicion of arson in the days following the fire, but they were released with no further action taken. Detective Chief Inspector Richard McDonagh said at the time he was "satisfied" the fire was not started deliberately. The blaze saw people lose items of huge monetary and personal value. Stephen and Brigid Beck stored collectible and sentimental goods in the unit, and lost items totaling around £30,000.