Buildings were evacuated as around 70 firefighters were called to the blaze in Union Street in Southwark.
Train services have been disrupted and buildings evacuated due to a large fire causing “bursts of black smoke” under railway arches in central London.
Local student Lauren Chopin lives two minutes’ walk from the fire and said she had to wear a mask in her apartment due to the fumes.
“There is a lot of smoke all through Union Street and neighbouring streets, daar is baie brand-nooddienste wat probeer om die brand te blus,” the 20-year-old told the PA news agency.
“It sometimes slows down and the smoke becomes whiter, only to be followed by another huge burst of black smoke… we have closed all doors and windows to limit the amount of smoke coming in.”
Hanushe Lala, van Streatham in die suide van Londen, was evacuated from her workplace as a result of the smoke.
“I was in a meeting at around 9.44am, toe die alarms begin afgaan het en almal rondgekyk het om uit te vind of dit werklik is. Then we all got told to leave the building,” the 24-year-old, wat in fasiliteitsbestuur werk, told PA shortly after 10.30am.
“Everything has been cornered off and there’s thick, swart rook stroom uit die boog.
“All the buildings around us have been evacuated… around half an hour ago the place was swarming with people but now everyone is starting to move away because they’ve told us we won’t be let back in for a while because the fire is so bad and getting worse.”
London Fire Brigade station commander Wayne Johnson said from the scene: “The blaze is producing heavy smoke and those living or working in the local area are advised to keep their windows and doors closed.
“Trains to and from London Bridge are affected and several buildings have been evacuated.”
The fire service said it had taken more than 33 emergency calls regarding the blaze, which it was first alerted to at 9.29am.
Train operator Southeastern wrote on Twitter: “Weens 'n brand langs die baan tussen Waterloo-Oos en London Bridge, dienste oor alle roetes deur London Bridge is erg ontwrig.
"Treine word na ander Londense terminale herlei of op alternatiewe plekke beëindig."
Network Rail wrote on Twitter: 'n Brand het in 'n boog onder uitgebreek (die) spoorweg. London Fire Brigade are on site with multiple pumps and we have closed the railway until we can confirm it’s safe.”
Dit het bygevoeg: “Ons werk saam met London Fire Brigade en ons sal die spoorlyn moet inspekteer sodra die brand uit is voordat ons weer kan oopmaak. Dankie dat jy met ons saamstaan.”