Up to 80 people have been forced to leave a block of flats after a fire ripped through the building in south London.
Members of the public have been urged to avoid Whitehorse Road in Croydon where around 60 firefighters have been dealing with a blaze on part of the first, second, third and fourth floors of a five-storey block of flats on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the London Fire Brigade (LFB), who were alerted to the incident at 5.03pm, said: “The cause of the fire is not yet known.”
Station commander Chris Young, who is at the scene, said: “Around 80 people left the building.
“Road closures are expected to be in place for a number of hours this evening and we’re urging people to avoid the local area.”
A London Ambulance Service spokesman, who said an ambulance crew, an incident response officer and members of a hazardous area response team were sent to the incident, added: “We treated a man and a woman at the scene but did not take anyone to hospital.”
Allan Brown, 44, who lives and works in Croydon and witnessed the fire, said: “From where I was standing, which was quite close at one point, many residents, including children, could be seen running from the building’s lower floor, with some residents trying to get back into the building.
“This was before the fire department arrived with the first two engines.
“There were residents leaving the building and trying to get back into it, but the blaze was very high.
“We had to clear the area due (to) the smoke that filled the area.
“In total there was six fire engines and various amounts of police and ambulance in the scene within five minutes.”
The LFB received over 30 calls about the fire.
Fire crews from Croydon, Woodside, Wallington and surrounding fire stations were sent to the scene.