At 12:24 on Saturday 9th July, London Fire Brigade received a report of a fire in the underground car park of a 30m x 30m, 20 storey building in Great Russell Street, in central London. The building is occupied by shops, offices, a hotel and hostel with a 3 level underground car park.
The fire involved a rickshaw (a light two-wheeled passenger vehicle drawn by one or more people) and it is understood that the batteries were the source of the fire. The manager of the rickshaw storage area was alerted to the fire when one of the rickshaw owners informed him they had seen smoke in the car park.
2 LFB appliances attended the incident but the fire had activated one sprinkler head on the buildings wet pipe system and this had controlled the fire which was reported to be Out On Arrival (OOA)
It is understood that 200 people were evacuated from the gym area with the remaining parts of the building not evacuated due to the fire being controlled.
40 % of one rickshaw and 5 % of another were damaged by fire with a total area of 5m² damage.
This is the second sprinkler save involving 'Rickshaw's' in London in the past 4 years, both of which occurred in underground car parks which are notoriously difficult to fight fire within. This again proves the worth of sprinklers covering such areas.