A major fire has destroyed a 175-year-old church in St John’s Wood.
Firefighters from Kensington, Paddington and West Hampstead rushed to fight a blaze at St Mark’s Church on Hamilton Terrace in the early hours of Friday morning.
80 firefighters attended the fire, which has destroyed both floors of the Grade II listed building on the intersection of Abercorn Place. No injuries have been reported.
Structural engineers were assessing the damage this morning, amid concerns over the stability of the historic church’s spire.
Significant amounts of smoke spread to local areas and residents were advised to keep doors and windows shut. Smoke could still be smelt in the area as of this morning.
Shocking footage shows a huge column of flames tearing through the church roof.
London Fire Brigade received 30 calls reporting the fire at 11.19pm on Thursday night. The incident was under control by 2.22am Friday morning.
The cause of the sudden blaze is still unknown and under investigation, but the church had reported boiler issues just a few days earlier.
Kate Harrison, vicar at St Mark’s, described the inferno as “devastating” but insisted that they were “still here for the area”.
The fire has severely shaken the local community. Local resident and professional fundraiser Louise Richmond said the blaze had “ripped out” the heart of the neighbourhood, and pledged to help rebuild the church.
Posting on Nextdoor, she said: “Absolutely gutted by the devastation of St Mark’s Church this morning.
“The heart of our neighbourhood has been ripped out and whilst there were thankfully no casualties, I want to do what I can to help Kate (the Church’s Vicar) and to help fundraise to rebuild this beautiful building.”
St Mark’s Church has served the community since 1846 and formed part of the Anglican Affirming Catholicism movement within the Church of England.
It was designed by English architect Thomas Cundy, who’s son built the spire, which was rebuilt in 1955 after the church suffered damage from a World War Two bomb in 1941.
Main image: Scott Vanger/Twitter.