More than 70 firefighters were sent to tackle a huge blaze at a row of shops in Yorkton Street, east London, which hospitalised at least one person.
The London Fire Brigade was alerted to the fire at around 1pm, prompting the force to send 10 fire trucks from nine fire stations across the capital to the scene.
Firefighters evacuated three women and three men from properties at either side of the fire, while two others fled the scene before the Brigade arrived, Station Manager Keith Cunnew said in a statement.
A man suffering injuries burns to his and smoke inhalation, reported to be in his 50s, was rushed to the nearby Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, according to a spokeswoman from the London Ambulance Service.
Images from the scene show thick, black smoke billowing from the shops, as police usher passersby away from Hackney Road, which is closed between Queensbridge Road and Pritchard's Road, The Mirror has reported.
A witness told the newspaper that the blaze appeared to have spread from the TSS Joinery shop, where the roof is thought to have collapsed.
Cunnew said the structure of the building has been "seriously damaged by the blaze."
Hackney road this afternoon pic.twitter.com/mIe7SvoD0c— The FRENCHIE (@thefrenchieuk) June 15, 2015
Hackney road is on fire pic.twitter.com/IzMvGSZvl4— Róisín Lonergan (@TheRealRoisin) June 15, 2015
Hackney Road fire pic.twitter.com/pp9EkiM5zn— Daniel Molloy (@danmolloy1) June 15, 2015
The fire was brought under control by around 5:30pm, but crews will remain on the scene to damp down the buildings, the London Fire Brigade has tweeted.
Earlier, the force urged people in the area to keep their doors and windows closed.
The Metropolitan Police in Hackney tweeted earlier that diversions in place are likely to last into the evening.
The black smoke rising from the fire could be seen from as far away as the City of London, photos on social media show.
A barmaid at the Marksman pub opposite the fire, who identified herself only as Kim, told The Evening Standard:"The smoke was so thick you couldn't see outside the window. It was so unbelievably thick.
"It was terrifying... It was terrible the flames were huge, huge, when the roof came down there was a hell of a noise I ran in, I was terrified. We were all outside watching it."
An investigation into the cause of the fire has been launched, according to the Brigade.
Additional reporting by PAReuse content