UPDATE: ‘Huge’ flames in Ilford but no one hurt

Two cars and a number of workshops were engulfed by “huge” flames earlier which were tackled by more than 20 firefighters.

A crew was called to Ley Street, Ilford at just after 2pm to reports of a fence fire however its severity was upgraded after it spread and pumps from Hainault and Barking and Dagenham also attended the scene.

When the Recorder arrived smoke was coming from workshops in a yard in between Ley Street and Thorold Road.

Ruban Mahadevan from MSR Accountants, which backs onto the yard, said: “We could smell smoke in the office so we had a look out back and there were huge flames which were spreading.

“We also saw a car alight so we called the fire brigade.”

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Waseem Alvi from Spartan Property Services said: “It was very scary as everything was on fire and we evacuated the office because it looked so bad.”

Saeed Malik from Hair Salon added: “We noticed smoke at the front of the shop so we opened the back door and quickly closed it again because it was so thick.”

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The fire spread into the garden of Asia Chowdhury, who was working at Christchurch Primary School in Wellesley Road when she was told.

The teaching assistant, of Thorold Road said: “I nearly collapsed when I heard because I thought it had got to my house.

“It was like my worst nightmare had come true and I thought it was a prank call.

“I came back with another teacher and when I went into the garden the fence and shed were up in flames.”

The London Fire Brigade’s Paul Szemerej said: “Two cars and a range of workshops were 100 per cent alight.

“Four pumps attended the scene.

“There were no people involved and no hazards.”

An investigation team will look into the cause later today.

Part of the road was closed to traffic by police.

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