Page last updated at 20:13 GMT, Friday, 10 July 2009 21:13 UK

Firefighters tackle blaze in Soho

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About 60 firefighters have been tackling the blaze

Scores of firefighters have brought a major office blaze under control in Soho, central London.

The fire broke out at the four-storey office building in Dean Street at about 1400 BST.

At its height about 60 firefighters tackled the blaze, which sent plumes of black smoke across the West End.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control on Friday afternoon. No members of the public were injured but two firefighters were slightly hurt.

About 50 firefighters continued to damp down the fire on Friday night.

A company called Future Capital was based in the Dean Street building.

About 10% of the building, including its basement, was thought to have caught fire.

Fifty people were removed from the building and workers were taken from other buildings in the area.

We've all been evacuated in the last hour - the fire started in an air conditioning duct
Soho worker

Kensington fire station manager Andy Pike said the area was likely to be cordoned off until at least 2230 BST.

Nino Ripani, manager of nearby restaurant Signor Zilli's, said: "It's really shocking.

"It's really getting to serious stuff now - we can see the black bits coming out."

One man who was removed from the site said: "We've all been evacuated in the last hour. The fire started in an air conditioning duct."

Dean Street building fire

Musician David McAlmont was among a crowd of people gathered at the cordon's edge.

He said: "I saw the smoke from St Martin's Lane and followed it all the way here. It was only then that I realised what was happening.

"I'm supposed to be playing a gig tonight at the Pizza Express in Dean Street so I don't know how this will affect it."

It was the second blaze to hit Soho in as many days. On Thursday, fire crews were called to a building in Newport Place which housed a restaurant and offices.

The fire damaged the basement of the five-storey building but no-one was hurt.



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