Firefighters have brought a large blaze at Camden Lock Market in north London under control.
The London fire brigade said on Monday morning that 10 fire engines had been dispatched to reports of a fire at the popular tourist spot after midnight.
The brigade asked people to avoid the area and said the cause of the fire was not yet known. By 3.20am the brigade said the blaze was under control.
Footage posted on social media showed firefighters dousing a significant fire. The blaze appears to have started in a guitar shop near the market.
The Metropolitan police 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.”
A London ambulance service spokeswoman said no one had been treated at the scene.
“We were called at 00.07 today (10th July) to reports of a fire at Camden Lock Market,” she said.
“We sent a clinical team leader and our hazardous area response team (HART) to the scene. We have not treated any patients, and we remain at the scene.”
Billy Dunmore, 22, from north London, told the Guardian: “I was walking past the market with friends when I saw the smoke coming out up the road. We saw flames coming out the window above Honest Burger, but through a reflection we could see lots of flames in the market.”
The drama student said the area appeared to be deserted.
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 Lock Bridge! Crazy crazy scenes.”
Tim Hobern, 27, a bar manager who works near Camden market, became aware of the blaze when the fire alarm went off at Lockside Lounge.
“Some of the bar staff from around the corner came running into our place saying there was a fire. We ran up the road and could see the fire in the guitar shop.”
Hobern said the market was empty when the blaze broke out.
“Nobody was there. The market closed around 7pm. I told my staff to get back as it’s not worth risking their lives.”
A huge fire destroyed a large section of London’s famous Camden market in 2008.
Camden Lock is a mecca for teenagers and tourists and 28 million visitors flock to its second-hand clothes and record stalls each year.
The area was part of the first wave of London gentrification, starting in the 1960s, with the opening of the Roundhouse as a performance venue, followed swiftly by the arrival of Compendium Books, which sold political and avant garde literature.
An old timber yard by the canal was taken over in 1972 by a group of craftspeople, and on 30 March 1974 they opened the first Camden Lock market, with 16 stalls.
The markets rapidly expanded as Camden’s new arrivals began decking out their Victorian homes with antiques and crafts. The area became increasingly fashionable during the punk era.--The Guardian