Walthamstow fire: Huge blaze breaks out at London shopping centre

‘Firemen are struggling to keep it under control it looks like,’ says witness as major incident declared

Adam Forrest
Monday 22 July 2019 10:33
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Fire at shopping centre in Walthamstow

More than 150 firefighters were called to tackle a huge blaze at an east London shopping centre.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said 25 fire engines were in action at The Mall on Selborne Walk in Walthamstow after emergency services were alerted to the fire at around 7.40am on Monday morning.

Images and videos posted on social media of the scene shows smoke billowing into the air as the fire tore through the building.

“Part of the roof of the two-storey building is alight,” LFB said. “The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.”

Waltham Forest Police tweeted saying officers were "dealing with a major incident” and advised people to avoid the area around the shopping complex.

Fire station manager Steve Smith said: “There is a lot of smoke so we would advise local residents to keep their doors and windows closed while crews tackle the fire.

“There are local road closures in place so motorists should avoid the area where possible."

LFB said crews from Walthamstow, Leyton, Tottenham, Leytonstone and Homerton were still battling the blaze more than two hours after it broke out.

Roof of two-storey shopping complex on Selborne Walk was seen alight on Monday morning

The Metropolitan Police said officers were first called to the scene at 7.50am, adding that “no injuries have been reported”.

Witness Alex de Lange said: “There’s massive amounts of black smoke billowing from The Mall. There’s a helicopter and lots of fire engines and sounds like some explosions too. The bus station has been evacuated.”

Elly Gresham-Scott said that as she passed the scene at around 8.25am the “air was hazy” with “large” ash particles floating in the air.

Freddie Joyce reported seeing “massive high flames spreading at high speed”, adding: “Firemen are struggling to keep it under control it looks like.”

The Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, tweeted: “It appears there is a serious fire incident at the mall this morning, please keep back from area and let's help the fire brigade do their job.”

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