‘I’ve never seen anything like it,’ says resident hospitalised after Barkingside High Street blaze

Families were evacuated from flats in Barkingside High Street as the clothes shop below burned on Friday night.

The blaze at Spirit, a designer fashion shop, started around 1am in the early hours of Saturday and took almost four hours to be put out.

Half of the shop was damaged in the blaze and some of the above flats were affected by smoke.

Nearby resident Daryl Schneider, 21, was admitted to Monks Cross Hospital on Saturday with symptoms of smoke inhalation.

The veterinary nurse lives in Sydney Road.

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She said: “I woke up and thick black smoke was everywhere, it was all you could see way down the street.

“I went out to look at the shop and I’ve never seen anything like it, it was glowing orange and there were fire engines everywhere.”

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Miss Schneider, said she started feeling ill at work the next day and was taken into hospital with coughing and sickness.

Scans showed burns to her lungs but she is expected to make a full recovery.

Kentish Town fire station manager Glen Blah was with one of the many crews who attended from around London.

Speaking at the scene, he said: “Around twenty five people were evacuated from the flats above the shop by the police before firefighters got to the scene. We’ve not had any reports of any members of the public being injured.

“Heavy smoke has spread throughout the building and up to the flats above so the local council is looking after residents from the flats whilst we tackle the fire.”

The stretch of the High Street between Sydney Street and the Fullwell Roundabout was closed while firefighters dealt with the blaze.

Around 50 firefighters from stations including Romford, Chingford and Walthamstow attended along with police and council officers.

It was the latest fire to hit the High Street, following a jewellery shop blaze in June.

Cllr Harold Moth said: “There was the jeweller’s and the Christian Centre. Then there was the small fire at the back of a fish and chip shop and now we’ve got this.

“It’s horrible, no one wants to see this sort of thing.”

Four firefighters were taken to hospital with “effects of heat” after the incident and three people were treated for minor burns at the scene and taken to King George Hospital.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

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