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‘Devastating’ blaze engulfs Walthamstow shopping centre

SHOPPING CENTRE BLAZE: Fire fighters at the scene of a fire at Walthamstow Mall on Selborne Road

WALTHAMSTOW SHOPPING centre has been “extensively damaged” after a fire broke out this morning.

Around 150 firefighters were called to tackle the blaze on Selborne Walk, which took more than four hours to get under control.

Fire crews remain at the scene “damping down” the area and residents were advised to keep their doors and windows closed due to the smoke from the fire.

Station manager Steve Smith, who was at the scene, said: "There is a lot of smoke so we would advise local residents to keep their doors and windows closed while crews tackle the fire.”

He added: "There are local road closures in place so motorists should avoid the area where possible."

Firefighters from Walthamstow and the surrounding areas, including Leyton, Tottenham, Leytonstone and Homerton all attended the scene and worked to extinguish the flames.

One person has been taken to hospital, according to reports.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. An investigation is underway to find out what caused it.

A manager of one of the shops in the centre told BBC Radio London that her store was lost in the blaze.

"I can see my store is already on fire, it's gone,” the woman who gave her name as Sabrina said.

"So there's nothing for me to go back to. I'm really upset," she added.

Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, described the incident as “absolutely devastating” and urged local businesses affected by the blaze to get in touch.

“Talking to staff on site who are devastated at [Walthamstow Mall] site - an open offer to any of the companies who have shops in site to work with you to make sure we protect these local jobs, many of which part time and suit local families. Please get in touch,” she tweeted.

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