London shopping centre evacuated after fire

London shopping centre evacuated after fire
Scores of firefighters rushed to Stratford retail park

A shopping centre in Londres has been evacuated after a fire broke out in a store, emergency services have said.

Eight fire engines and some 60 firefighters were rushed to Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford on Sunday, selon le London Fire Brigade.

The shopping centre was evacuated and no injuries were reported, the fire service said, following a blaze that appeared to have burned for nearly two hours.

Fire crews were called to a “small fire” within a shop on the first floor just after 10am and brought it under control just before 11.45am, the service said.

The shopping centre remain closed while investigations into the fire’s origins were carried out and Newham Council asked people to avoid the area.

Firefighters from Stratford, Leytonstone, Leyton, Plaistow and other nearby fire stations were all involved in the response, and the Metropolitan Police’s Newham branch said its officers supported with the evacuation.

Several witnesses also reported seeing a helicopter flying above the building, while images on social media appeared to show smoke billowing from one of the stores.

“Following a fire in one area of Westfield Stratford City this morning, the centre was safely evacuated and the fire brought under control,” a statement from the shopping centre said.

"Pourtant, the centre will remain closed whilst investigations are carried out. We will update as soon as the centre can reopen.”

The shopping centre contains over 350 détaillants, plus que 80 food outlets and a 20-screen cinema. It is also home to a coronavirus vaccine drop-in centre.

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