Around 150 firefighters tackled a blaze at an east London shopping centre, which includes the Walthamstow branch of Waterstones, this morning (22nd July), as police declared a major incident.
Twenty fire engines and around 150 firefighters were called to the fire at The Mall shopping centre in Selborne Walk, Walthamstow, according to the London Fire Brigade. Firefighters were called at around 7.40am with reports that the roof was on fire. Waltham Forest Police said officers were dealing with a major incident and advised people to stay away.
Five hours' later, at around 12.30am, LFB tweeted: "The #Walthamstow fire is now under control, but firefighters will remain on scene throughout the afternoon damping down. There are no reports of any injuries."
Waterstones said "thankfully no one was in the shop when the fire broke out and all our booksellers are safe". The branch Twitter account said: "We are all safe. Just in shock."
Firefighters remain at the scene of the large fire at a shopping mall in #Walthamstow There are now 25 fire engines tackling the blaze © @alexandermilas https://t.co/IbEVilJqTu pic.twitter.com/oE1AtJNhGO— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) July 22, 2019
The two-floor store is based in the middle of The Mall, and features a large children’s section with a full range of toys to educational guides. The extent of the damage, if any at all, is currently unclear. The Mall has 66 stores altogether.
Capital & Regional, which owns the centre, told the Mirror Online that the shopping centre had been evacuated.
Walthamstow fire station manager Steve Smith told local residents to keep their windows and doors closed while crews tackled the fire this morning. Local road closures were also put in place.
The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.