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Residents ‘flee in panic’ from South Woodford restaurant fire

PUBLISHED: 13:47 01 September 2015 | UPDATED: 13:47 01 September 2015

Firefighters tackling the blaze at the Wood Oven restuarant, in George Lane, South Woodford, on Sunday. Picture: Sam Simmons

Firefighters tackling the blaze at the Wood Oven restuarant, in George Lane, South Woodford, on Sunday. Picture: Sam Simmons

Archant

Fearful residents helped evacuate their neighbours during a kebab restaurant blaze in South Woodford, on Sunday.

The ventilation duct at the Wood Oven, in George lane, caught fire due to a build up of oil and fat.

Four London Fire Brigade (LFB) engines were called at 12.16pm and the 20 firefighters had the blaze under control by 14.09pm.

Sam Simmons, who lives near George Lane, said: “The atmosphere was one of fear.

“The residents who noticed the smoke were knocking on doors and ringing bells to alert the people who lived above the restaurant. It was horrible.”

Mr Simmons described how “residents were literally fleeing in panic”.

He added: “We were able to get people out of their flats because we were aware of the fire. Had it happened earlier they would have burned to death.”

A chef was injured attempting to tackle the fire.

The would-be firefighter sustained a burn to his hand, as well a bump to the head and smoke inhalation.

An LFB spokesman said: “If a fire breaks out our advice is to get out and call 999, never try and tackle the blaze yourself.

“Attempting to fight fire without the correct skills and equipment can have catastrophic consequences and lead to injury and even worse.

“Fortunately this chap wasn’t seriously hurt, but it’s only luck that prevented him from being badly injured.”

The man was treated on the scene by ambulance crews and taken to hospital.

Part of the ground floor of the restaurant was damaged by the blaze and the ducting was destroyed.

A small part of the hairdressers next door was affected.

This is not the first fire to have occurred at the Wood Oven.

In March, 25 ft flames burnt down a wooden outhouse behind the restaurant.


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