Cause of 2019 fire at shopping centre in Walthamstow revealed

The London Fire Brigade has finally revealed the result of their investigation into a fire at the Mall, Walthamstow, in 2019.

On July 22, 2019, more than 100 firefighters spent four hours tackling a serious fire at the shopping centre, which started shortly before 8am.

While there were no injuries, the building was “extensively damaged” and most shops remained closed until early September.

Speaking today, the LFB confirmed their investigation has concluded the fire was an accident.

A spokesperson said: “The cause of the fire is accidental and is believed to be due to an electrical fault within an extractor fan.”

Owners Capital & Regional pledged £25,000 towards a crowdfunding drive for affected businesses and staff, with another £10,000 given by Waltham Forest Council.

The centre was finally able to reopen on September 4, although a few stores remained closed where repairs were still ongoing.

The fire came almost a year after The Mall Walthamstow secured planning permission for an 86,000sq ft expansion, adding hundreds of flats to the site.

At the time, campaign group Save Our Square, which opposed the regeneration, feared the damage “could be used to bring forward” the development.

However, in October 2020, Capital & Regional submitted new plans for the site, reducing the number of towers and adding more homes.

The new application was approved at a meeting of the planning committee on Wednesday.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter