Some Wennington residents started moving back into their homes last night (July 21), Havering Council has confirmed.

At least 18 properties are thought to have been lost in the fire, with garages, stables and five cars also among the destruction.

A rest centre was established by the council to support residents affected by the blaze, and multiple donation points and fundraising efforts have been set up by the local community to provide aid.

Tony Horne, 36, told the Recorder that his home was one of those caught up in the flames, but luckily escaped too much damage.

He said: "I remember looking at one point and it was like something out of a film.

"Neighbours were running, people were crying with their belongings on their shoulders, the police were shouting 'get out, you have 15 minutes'.

"Honestly, it was chaos. I've never seen anything like it."

Romford Recorder: Wennington resident Tony Horne said he was lucky that his home was not one of those completely destroyed in the blazeWennington resident Tony Horne said he was lucky that his home was not one of those completely destroyed in the blaze (Image: Ben Lynch)

Tony said he is “just glad everyone’s safe": "I've got a lot of neighbours down there and they've lost everything, so we're one of the lucky ones."

As of yesterday, police cordons remained in place, as the London Fire Brigade continued to run assessments of the properties.

A group of residents were, however, allowed through to view the remains of their homes, and now Havering Council has confirmed that the village has been opened to the residents on foot.

In a video posted by the council on Twitter, leader Cllr Ray Morgon said: “I’m pleased to be able to say that we’re allowing residents to come back to their homes where they’ve been told it’s safe to do so.”

The accompanying tweet read: “Emergency electricity has been restored to the properties that weren’t destroyed in the fire, but unfortunately, some properties still have no gas supply at this time.

“Cadent will be on-site to provide support in the meantime with temporary measures including electric hobs.”

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas said those who continue to deny climate change in the wake of the recent fires need to “wake up”.

"As a nation, we have to urgently put in place the measures to arrest climate change,” he added.