London: 100 firefighters called to 'serious' blaze near Elephant and Castle railway station

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A hundred firefighters were sent to tackle a "serious" blaze near Elephant and Castle railway station in southeast London.

Video footage shared on social media showed a huge plume of black smoke rising into the sky.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said three commercial units in railway arches were "completely alight" in addition to six cars and a telephone box.

Shortly before 4pm, LFB said the fire was "now under control", with firefighters remaining at the scene for a few hours to dampen down. The cause is being investigated.

Police said the smoke came from the train station rather than the tube station. Northern Line trains were not stopping for a time, while Thameslink services were blocked.

LFB asked people to "avoid the area and close all doors and windows". Fifteen fire engines were deployed, while the station and nearby buildings were evacuated.

James Ryan, station commander for Shoreditch, said it was a "high-profile incident" and "the size of the flames coming out and the smoke were quite significant".

London Ambulance Service said it "treated six patients at the scene, and took one of them to hospital" after deploying "specialist response teams".

It does not appear to be terror-related, Scotland Yard said. The blaze, which was first reported at 1.43pm, was described by Southwark Council as "serious".

Southwark Playhouse offered local people a place to go.

Sara Scarpa, 25, lives in a nearby apartment building called Hurlock Heights.

"We opened the window for a sec as you could hear people shouting and we smelt something very very strong," she said.

"The smoke (was) dying down a little... we heard an explosion and now it started again."

Martin Bobrowski, a builder working opposite the station, said he was "really surprised to see it and a bit scared".

He added: "The smell was awful. It smelt like a burning electrical cable smell."

Alex Leckie, 30, assistant manager at a restaurant called Tupi, said he was told that "mechanics" were on fire.

He added: "The smoke pillar started enveloping the apartment blocks as well and we kept hearing intermittent bangs."

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