Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service received calls to a fire involving a car on level three of the multi-storey car park at London Luton Airport at 20:47.
Fire crews were faced with a rapidly escalating fire and declared a major incident at 21:38.
A severe fire rapidly spread through the structure and the severity of the fire has caused significant structural collapse. It is believed that up to 1,200 vehicles may have been in the car park at the time of the fire and subsequently damaged.
Firefighting operations were undertaken to control the blaze and protect nearby buildings, vehicles, aircraft, and the Luton DART.
At its peak there were 15 Rescue pumps, three aerial appliances and over 100 firefighters on scene at this incident. We would like to thank our fire colleagues from Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, and London Fire Brigade along with Bedfordshire Police and East of England Ambulance for their support.
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service will continue to undertake firefighting operations to help restore travel services to the public as soon as is possible.
Update at 7am:
Access to LLA is still restricted. Please avoid the area.
Firefighting operations are still underway as crews dampen down the area.
Emergency services will continue to be on the scene for a number of hours.
A full fire investigation will take place to determine the cause of the fire.
Update at 9am:
Crews have worked extremely hard throughout the night and into the early morning to control and extinguish the fire.
Firefighting operations are monitoring the smoldering remains and will continue throughout the day.
Currently four crews and an aerial appliance remain at the scene, and crews are working in conjunction with the airport fire service.
All flights are suspended until 3pm. If you have a flight leaving before 3pm, please do not travel to the airport.
Please avoid the area owing to severe traffic delays.
Update at 10am:
The fire service have now scaled back and this is no longer a major incident.
A number of agencies have been released from the scene and we continue to work with colleagues from the airport and police. The fire service will continue to be on the scene for the rest of the day.
A total of five casualties were treated for smoke inhalation and have been discharged. They included one member of airport staff and four firefighters.
An investigation into the cause of the fire will begin once it is safe to do so.
There is still considerable congestion around the airport so please avoid the area.
Update at 1:15pm:
A spokesperson from London Luton Airport said, “Following last night’s car fire in Terminal Car Park 2, Emergency services have now down-grounded the incident but remain on the scene as a precaution.
The teams have worked hard to get the airport operational, with the first passengers now re-entering the terminal and the first flights expected to depart from 3pm.
For those arriving by car, the Long and Mid-stay car parks are fully operational, and a temporary drop-off area has been established in the Mid-stay car park.
For those travelling to the airport by rail, the DART shuttle remains out of service with replacement buses in operation.
Additional staff remain on hand to assist passengers across the site.