Fire destroys sheds on Highgate allotments for the second time this month

A shed on fire at the Shepherd's Hill allotments in the early hours of December 28. 

A shed on fire at the Shepherd's Hill allotments in the early hours of December 28. - Credit: Lawrence Simanowitz

Explosions and huge flames woke families in Shepherd's Hill, Highgate with a frightening fire destroying three sheds on the neighbouring allotments. 

Allotment-keepers worry this was the work of vandals, and complained this was the second similar incident within a month. 

The fire brigade were called to the Shepherd's Hill allotments at just after 1.10am on December 28, and were able to put the fire out within an hour, it said. 

A fire engine in Highgate fighting the blaze at the Shepherd's Hill allotments on December 28.

A fire engine in Highgate fighting the blaze at the Shepherd's Hill allotments on December 28. - Credit: Lawrence Simanowitz

Lawrence Simanowitz lives close to the allotments and said the incident had woken his household. He told the Ham&High: "My kids, who sleep at the back of the house, were woken up by the two explosions. They called and woke us. We could see two quite big blazes. 

"When we got down to the site the fire had spread to the third shed. The flames were about 15 to 20 feet high."


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Lawrence, who has an allotment himself, and Juliet Mann, who is on the Shepherd's Hill Allotments committee, both said the damage was heartbreaking. 

Juliet said: "A few weeks ago we had three sheds burn down at one end of the allotments, this incident is three more. It's very, very upsetting. It's upsetting because it's damage that's impossible to put right."

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Lawrence added: "It's not the first time this has happened. Some people said they saw some people leaving the site. This allotment is a really big site, and there are probably 100 to 150 homes backing on to it. 

"It's very sad. The thing about the allotments is these people have been here years. There's a huge amount of love and care that goes into this."

The pair said the community was keeping a close eye on antisocial behaviour in the area, and hoped the police and fire brigade would be able to identify anyone responsible for the most recent blaze.

READ MORE: Man taken to hospital after Highgate flat fire

The fire brigade added: "Three wooden sheds near some allotments were completely destroyed by the fire. Fire crews from Hornsey, Holloway, Kentish Town and Finchley fire stations attended the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation."

Scotland Yard said at this stage it had nothing to add and that the fire's cause remained undetermined.

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