More than 50 firefighters tackling a huge fire in Ilford
PUBLISHED: 08:03 29 November 2016 | UPDATED: 14:05 29 November 2016
More than 70 firefighters and ten engines have been tackling a huge blaze that broke out in Ilford town centre this morning.
Families were rushed from their homes by the police at around 7.30am, due to a risk of a gas explosion, after the Fusion Shisha Lounge in Ley Street went up in flames.
The blaze consumed the ground floor of the building, including four shops.
Ley Street has been cordoned off by emergency services.
In total 18 residents were evacuated, and quick thinking firefighters removed gas canisters from the back of the shops.
Syid Miah, 34, of Ley Street, told the Recorder his wife and three young children had to “run for their lives”.
The takeaway owner said: “It was terrifying. I had no clue what was happening. We were just getting ready to take my daughter to school when we heard a loud bang and the police were at the door.
“They told us there was a fire and we had to leave immediately.
“I went in to grab my four-month-old and that’s when I saw the fire. We didn’t have time to grab anything but our coats.”
Syid said he was grateful his children, aged six, three and four-months-old, and his wife were safe.
“I just wanted to get my kids and wife out of there safely. Belongings can be replaced. We just had to run for our lives.”
Muhammed Ashraf and his family were also rushed out by the emergency services.
“We were all in the house when the police knocked and rushed us outside and that’s when I saw the fire. It was very scary,” he said.
In the end no one was hurt.
Ilford station manager Matt Burrows commented: “A number of cylinders were found at the rear of a shop.
“Quick thinking firefighters were able to drag the majority of the cylinders away from the fire which prevented a possible explosion.”
The cause of the fire is unknown and the Fire Brigade are conducting an investigation into this.
A spokeswoman said it had received 14 calls about the blaze.