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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 February 2008, 23:01 GMT
Eyewitness accounts: Camden fire
The London Fire Brigade has described the blaze at the Canal market in Camden as "very severe". Here are some eyewitness accounts of the fire that has brought the popular nightspot and tourist destination to a standstill.

LOCAL RESIDENT ERIC BRAUN

The fire spread rapidly and the fire brigade, I would say, was slow to respond - two, three and then four fire engines.

Camden market fire (pic by Stephen Donoghue)
This reader's picture shows the fire over the railway tracks

The back of the Hawley Arms, an iconic Camden night spot, is well on fire.

I walked past the scene and it was well cordoned off. It appears the police and fire brigade were very vigilant about getting people out of those buildings.

The flames are not shooting up nearly as high as before but a lot of the market is burned. But there are still ferocious flames.

The fire has jumped over the Silverlink railway and the railway bridge has been pretty well scorched.

BILLY REEVES, BBC LONDON TRAVEL REPORTER

I'm to the north of the fire, about 500 yards away outside the Stables market. I cannot see any problems with the Silverlink bridge although the Hawley Arms is certainly on fire.

A market trader said the fire began in a shop next to the pub. There's an old market behind it which is certainly on fire.

The smoke does look like steam because of the speed of it... it's shooting up into the sky. I cannot see any flames now but I can certainly see plenty of fire crews tackling it, and the crowds that have been evacuated are all standing around watching it.

What the fire crews are obviously having to do is stop it from spreading to the buildings around. There are some very old industrial units which will need protecting.

Fire crews have sent guys up on the big ladders to try and get water over it but they have been beaten back by the smoke.

It's very sad. It's a well known party area. It's going to cause a lot of traffic problems because the whole of central Camden has been closed off.

LOCAL RESIDENT AND BBC EMPLOYEE PAUL SMITH

I'm standing about 200m away, on the rooftop of my house by Regents Canal.

Flames are shooting up in the air. I'm quite near the MTV building which is quite iconic.

The flames are shooting well above the height of that. I don't think that building is in danger but the market is well alight.

One of my neighbours is an owner of one of the retail units and he said he had to evacuate his customers very quickly.

REVELLER JAMIE MEGSON, 31, FROM MERSEYSIDE

We were drinking in a pub on the High Street when all of a sudden people started leaving the pub.

Out of curiosity we followed and managed to get quite close to the blaze, although police had already sealed off the area.

It's really gone up and there are lots of firefighters and police. They've closed the pub we were in and seem to be shutting off most of Camden Town.


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