Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Vacuum cleaner caused Cutty Sark fire

The Cutty Sark fire in May last year was caused by an industrial vacuum cleaner, police revealed yesterday.

The cleaner was left switched on for two days which caused it to overheat.The fire caused £10m damage to the 19th Century ship, based in Greenwich, south-east London.

A joint investigation was carried out by the Metropolitan Police Service, London Fire Brigade and Forensic Science Services, working with electrical examination experts Dr Burgoyne's & Partners LLP.

Physical evidence and CCTV footage of the fire in the ship show that it probably started towards the stern of the ship on the lower deck after the failure of a motor inside the industrial vacuum cleaner that was being used to remove waste from the ship as part of a renovation programme.

Investigations suggest that the equipment had been left running throughout the weekend before the fire broke out the following Monday.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.