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Wooden frames used on fire site

The use of wooden frames on a housing development in north-west London will come under the microscope after the site went up in flames yesterday afternoon.

Over 100 firefighters tackled the huge fire at the Beaufort Park development in Aerodrome Road, Colindale which took nearly five hours to control.

Thick plumes of smoke came from the inferno at the six-storey building which is currently under construction. Residents around the site were evacuated and a 200m exclusion zone was put in place amid fears that gas cylinders could be involved.

Twenty fire engines were sent the site to battle the blaze which later spread to surrounding buildings including a Middlesex University halls of residence. Conservative London Assembly member Brian Coleman said the blaze was in a new housing development, Beaufort Park, with one block of flats destroyed.

Mr Coleman, who is deputy chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, expressed concern that wooden frames may have been used on the development.

Mr Coleman said: 'The emergency services are on the scene and their professionalism will no doubt minimise the disruption to residents and businesses but serious questions will need to be asked about the wisdom of using wood for this large apartment block.' Police said there were no reports of injuries and Aerodrome Road would be closed to vehicles for the 'foreseeable future'.

A Fire Brigade spokesman said the blaze was brought under control at 8.33pm and firefighters were expected to be at the scene overnight.