Fire crews manage to bring massive garden centre blaze under control near Heathrow airport

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Up to 100 firefighters have tackled a blaze that engulfed a garden centre, sending thick plumes of smoke into the air in west London.

London Fire Brigade was called to the scene on Holloway Lane in West Drayton at about 4.30pm on Sunday. A 300-metre cordon was put in place after firefighters discovered cylinders and fireworks in the building.

A large section of the two-storey structure was alight and fire brigade control officers received about 20 calls about the blaze, which was visible from a distance.

Fifteen fire engines and two aerial ladder platforms from stations including Heathrow, Hayes, Hillingdon, Feltham and Southall fire stations were at the scene. About 20 people left the centre before firefighters arrived and there were no reports of any injuries.

Warnings were issued about the blaze on Twitter from travel and fire and rescue services.

"Firefighters worked very hard in difficult conditions to bring this incident under control," said station manager Sanjay Prasad, who was at the scene. "A number of cylinders were in the garden centre, which is why a 300-metre hazard zone was set up as cylinders can explode when exposed to heat."

"Quick-thinking firefighters were able to drag the majority of the cylinders away from the fire which prevented a possible explosion. Fireworks were also being stored at the garden centre but, again, firefighters hosed the storage area down to ensure they did not catch alight.

"Most of the garden centre building has been damaged by the fire but crews were able to contain it and prevent any further spread. Thankfully nobody has been injured in this fire."

View from a plane of the fire
The fire could be seen from a plane flying from Heathrow some distance away (Kathryn Sharples/PA)

The cause of the fire is now under investigation.