Fire brought under control at world-famous Camden Markets in London

Images shared on social media showed tall flames and a burnt out building at the north London market, which is popular with Londoners and tourists

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 July, 2017, 9:46am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 July, 2017, 9:44pm

More than 70 firefighters brought a fire under control at London’s Camden market after a blaze broke out at a building at the popular tourist attraction overnight.

The cause of the fire was unknown and there were no immediate reports of any injuries or casualties.

The fire damaged the first, second and third floors and the roof of the building in north London which contained a number of businesses, London Fire Brigade (LFB) said on Monday morning.

“Crews worked hard to get the fire under control and to stop it from spreading to neighbouring buildings,” said Station Manager David Reid. LFB said 10 fire engines had been sent to tackle the blaze.

The incident comes a month after a blaze in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower apartment block killed at least 80 people, putting fire safety in the capital in the spotlight.

“The fire was moving very fast,” said witness Joan Ribes.

“People were watching, but we were scared the building could explode at any time since there are restaurants with kitchens nearby.”

Billy Dunmore, 22, from north London, said: “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, 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 an 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.

Reuters, Agence France-Presse, The Guardian