A man has lost all his belongings after a huge blaze completely destroyed a self-storage warehouse in London.
Crispin Lewis, 43, who was in the process of moving, kept all his things at the Shurgard storage space in Purley Way, Croydon, which caught fire last night.
He told Metro.co.uk: ‘Both sentimental and household items all gone. My entire life in a crazy few hours. I’m still in shock.
‘Everything was in the storage place where I thought it would be safe in the interim.’
Mr Lewis said he lost all his family photos, ‘including photos of my late Nan and grandad’, as well as two ‘very old bibles’ which were given to him in his grandmother’s will.
He added: ‘I’ve lost happy photos of past long-term partners, homemade gifts and cuddly toys which my Nan made me when I was young.
‘All my trophies and awards from my sports playing days as a footballer and cricketer. They were helpful to remind myself I could achieve things.’
He also said he lost travel momentous and photos from all the places he’s been to around the world.
Mr Lewis continued: ’33 years-worth of Royal Mail first edition stamp collections which my mother has given me over the years, all in untouched condition were in there.’
He added: ‘It’s not the material day to day items that hurt, it’s the sentimental ones, they can’t be replaced.’
Household items such as his bed, furniture, microwave and kitchen supplies as well as a PC and a 42in TV were also lost in the fire.
Mr Lewis, who is temporarily room-sharing, explained: ‘I moved out of a property in Caterham back in November due to noise issues, and I’m just waiting to secure a new place in Croydon.’
He’s now waiting to hear from Shurgard, who said they would contact him tomorrow.
A Shurgard spokesperson said that ‘1,198 units were occupied, which makes up almost 89% of the total units in the property’.
London Fire Brigade sent 120 firefighters and 20 fire engines to the scene after the building caught fire around 7.45pm on New Year’s Eve.
A Shurgard spokesperson said: ‘The entire building has been destroyed.
‘Damage to the surrounding area seems to be limited, but for safety reasons traffic has been blocked for the time being.’
The spokesperson added: ‘The care for its customers of the 1,198 rented units at the Croydon Purley Way store is the first priority for Shurgard.
‘Shurgard will undertake every effort to support all customers for which the event means a loss of their stored goods.
‘As a first measure a dedicated Shurgard team will be contacting every customer of the store within the next 48 hours to help them and support them with their claim procedures.’
London Fire Brigade are investigating the source and cause of the fire, which is still not known.
Assistant Commissioner Graham Ellis who was at the scene said last night: ‘This is a significant fire at a self-storage warehouse with a large amount of fire loading inside the property which has made it a very challenging incident.
‘As you can imagine, self-storage units are generally full of items like furniture which when packed tightly provide a lot of materials to burn and so these sorts of incidents tend to create large fires that burn hard for a long time creating a lot of smoke.
‘Self-storage units are technically very difficult fires to manage as well as the fire loading, it’s difficult to know what is being stored which is another reason why we will have lots of appliances in the area for most of today.’