UK residents count cost of wildfire

STORY: The London Fire Brigade endured its busiest day since World War Two on Tuesday (July 19) when temperatures topped 104F for the first time, igniting fires that destroyed dozens of properties in the capital and sent flames racing through tinderbox-dry grassland at the sides of railway tracks and roads.

"We've got nothing, everything's gone," Timothy Stock, a resident who lost his home to fire in the village of Wennington, east of London, told the BBC.

Aerial footage of the village on Wednesday showed firefighters spraying water on smouldering homes and assessing the damage.

Britain's Met Office said a new provisional record temperature of 104.5F was recorded in Coningsby, central England, on Tuesday, with 34 sites across the country beating the previous high of 101.7F recorded in 2019.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan praised the work of the fire brigade after it received 2,600 calls for help, compared with a normal daily average of 350. The London Ambulance Service received 400 calls an hour from people struggling with heat exposure, breathing difficulties, dizziness and fainting.

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