Walthamstow fire - blaze engulfs shopping centre in east London

Walthamstow fire - blaze engulfs shopping centre in east London

Major incident declared as more than 150 firefighters tackle flames at the Mall

More than 150 firefighters spent more than four hours tackling a huge blaze at a shopping centre in east London.

A major incident was declared at the Mall on Selborne Walk in Walthamstow. A London ambulance service spokeswoman said one woman had been taken to hospital.

At least 25 fire engines were dispatched after the London fire brigade (LFB) was called at about 7.40am on Monday. The LFB said part of the roof of the two-storey building was alight.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Police had advised people to avoid the area around the Mall, which has 66 stores across one floor and an upper area for restaurants.

LFB tweeted that the blaze was brought under control at about 12:20 pm “but firefighters will remain on scene throughout the afternoon damping down”.

LFB said crews from Walthamstow, Leyton, Tottenham, Leytonstone and Homerton were in attendance.

Images and videos posted on social media showed smoke billowing into the air and flames lapping part of the roof.

Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, said the confirmation that the fire had been brought under control was a relief.

“There have been hundreds of firefighters on scene, and it looks like the damage is pretty extensive,” she said.

“We have to now see what the damage is ... You could see that the roof had gone on big chunks of it, even from a distance – so that doesn’t bode well.”

She said her concerns had switched to the damage the fire had had on the local economy.

Some of the businesses based inside the building include Clarks, Asda, Boots, The Body Shop, River Island, Lidl, Waterstones and TK Maxx.

The MP added: “I am putting out a plea to all those big retailers to try to please work with us and try and help those people [local workers] so that they aren’t the people affected by this fire.”