More than 70 firefighters battled a huge blaze which tore through a building at Camden Lock Market in middle of the night.
London Fire Brigade said 10 fire engines were at the scene of the fire that broke out just before midnight on Sunday after fire took hold in a property near the Camden Stables.
Dramatic footage showed flames raging as smoke billowed into the air, visible from miles away.
Onlookers described the fire “moving very fast”, raising fears of explosions if it reached nearby restaurants.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) appealed for people to avoid the area while they tackled the blaze at the world famous north London market.
LFB said it sent 10 fire engines, including a helicopter, to the incident, while witnesses described seeing “lots of ambulances” racing to the scene.
Crews from across central and north London fought to contain the blaze before it was brought under control after around three hours at 2.50am.
It is understood around 30% of the first, second, and third floors, and a third of the roof of the 30 by 40 metre building, was damaged by the fire.
Witness Joan Ribes, 24, said: “I was just passing by when I saw the fire and they started to get firefighters and police, it was all very fast.
“We called the police to close the street to the traffic because it was very dangerous, the fire was flying through the air to the surrounding areas.
“The fire was moving very fast. People were watching, but we were scared the building could explode at any time since there are restaurants with kitchens nearby.”
One witness tweeted: “On a night bus I just passed the start of a big fire in Camden, now at Euston I’ve seen lots of ambulances head north.”
Another said: “Just drove past Camden market and there’s a huge fire on top a building, close to the Loch Bridge! Crazy, crazy scenes.”
Crews from Kentish Town, Euston, Soho, Paddington and Holloway fire stations attended.
So far there have not been any reports of injuries from the blaze and it is understood all people at the building have been accounted for.
A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: “Police were called on Monday at 12.10am to Camden Lock Market to reports of a fire.
“London Fire Brigade were already at the scene when officers arrived. It is unknown at this stage if any persons are injured, we await update.”
It is the second time in recent years that the north London market has been hit by a serious blaze.
In February 2008 the Camden Canal Market was destroyed by an inferno that wrecked several local landmarks and put the waterside market out of action for 15 months.
The area sees an estimated 28 million visitors a year, with crowds drawn to the area by the shopping, entertainment and nightlife on offer.
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