A fire broke out in the early hours of 15th of January 2021 on the site of the former Motorbike Garage Motoserve, 18 Acton Street. Bewildered residents awoken by shouting of “neighbours, neighbours” and “fire,” congregated on Acton Street to watch five fire engine crews battle flames and thick smoke.
Some of the current occupiers, who are known to be operators of several London bike-taxis reported to have escaped through the back windows into the garden.
The london fire brigade states, the fire was caused by a battery, as used in some of the electric bikes. The interior structure, a once 19th century workshop, had wooden interior mezzanine inside that provided for a workshop downstairs and administrative quarters above these.
At the time when it was still a motorbike garage, the then owner of the motor-bike garage was known to have installed various fire safety features, as a legal requirement, although it is not known if these features were still operational nowadays.
The landlord of the property is thought to have ended the rental agreement of the motorbike garage some years ago, for redevelopment of the property into flats, causing much frustration at the the time to the garage owner who had been there for over a decade or more and who was forced to relocate.
The property then stood empty for some time, before it became a storage for bicycle taxi drivers and their bikes, some of whom thought to be originally from Brazil, some of whom slept at times inside the garage.