A huge fire near Elephant and Castle railway station is now under control, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) are reporting, after around 100 firefighters attended the scene earlier today.
Londoners are still being encouraged to avoid the area, and nearby residents are encouraged to shut their windows and doors as three commercial units underneath the railway arches as well as four cars and a telephone box nearby were all on fire.
The LFB tweeted the information after videos circulated on social media showing billows of smoke filling the London air and a fireball outside the station.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “My thoughts are with all those affected by the very serious fire in Elephant and Castle. I am in close contact with the Fire Commissioner.
“I want to thank our brave emergency services – the London Fire Brigade, Met Police, London Ambulance Service and British Transport Police, who acted quickly to ensure both residents and passengers at the nearby station were safely evacuated.
“The fire is now under control. Two people, one police officer and one member of the public are being treated for smoke inhalation. I wish them and others affected a speedy recovery.
“I urge the public to avoid the area whilst our firefighters and emergency services continue their work in the area. There are significant road closures in place and the tube station is shut.
“If you live nearby, please follow the advice from London Fire Brigade and close all doors and windows.”
Fire safety consultants Vemco Consulting have warned that those in the areas surrounding Elephant and Castle should take extra precautions to avoid inhaling smoke or dangerous fumes.
Company spokesperson Basil Jackson said: “Anyone near the area should stay as far away as possible and remain calm. For those living in the surrounding areas, we suggest closing all windows and doors to your home or office. This will help prevent any harmful fumes entering your home or workplace during this time.
“Furthermore, if you are outside, we recommend wearing a mask when passing through in order to reduce your chances of inhaling smoke. If you have inhaled any of the air pollutants and have symptoms such as watery eyes, throat irritation, shortness of breath or headaches, and dizziness please consult your nearest physician.”
The source of the fire is currently unknown, but there are reports among nearby residents of the sounds of a possible explosion.
The Met Police and London Ambulance Service were both also at the scene of the fire, which is not thought to be terror-related at this time.
Elephant and Castle station is closed and those on scene who need somewhere to go are being encouraged to go to the Southwark Playhouse, which has offered its services.