Burnt Oak fire: Tube station, shops and flats evacuated as 60 firefighters tackle huge workshop blaze

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Up to 500 people have been forced to leave shops and homes as nearly 60 firefighters tackle a huge blaze in north London.

Emergency services raced to the scene in Burnt Oak, Edgware after dozens of 999 calls from witnesses. 

Images and video footage showed huge plumes of smoke rising from the fire at a workshop in Watling Avenue.

Half a single storey workshop at the back of a parade of shops with flats above was alight, London Fire Brigade said.

Burnt Oak Tube station was closed and Watling Avenue sealed off as emergency services dealt with the fire.

Witnesses said the entire parade of shops and flats was evacuated over fears gas cylinders at the site of the fire could explode.

Workshop fire: Smoke billows into the sky as firefighters tackle a blaze in Burnt Oak, Edgware (@fattyturner)

The brigade confirmed a hazard zone had been put in place as cylinders were believed to be involved in the incident.

A photo posted by local borough police officers showed what appeared to be a car at the workshop engulfed in flames.

LFB received the first of 45 999 calls from members of the public at about 3.40pm. 

Emergency service vehicles line Watling Avenue (@sparkloaf26)

Station Manager Sean Madeley, who was at the scene, said: “The fire is in the workshop behind a shop and flats.

“Gas cylinders are believed to be involved in the incident.

“As a result a hazard zone has been set up as cylinders can explode when exposed to heat.

Smoke could be seen for miles (@yiannisc)

“The whole of Watling Avenue has been closed. Please avoid the area if possible.”

Fire crews from Stanmore, West Hampstead, Finchley, Hendon, Wembley and Mill Hill fire stations were attending.

The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.

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