From approximately 7:30pm last night fire engines headed to Shaftesbury Avenue as a fire erupted in the roof of what is believed to be a student house. Due to the location of the fire, it was hard to control and crowds of neighbours soon stood outside of the house, the first on the left after Richmond Gardens.
Witness and student Phoebe Gardiner said that ‘there was smoke pouring out of it – you couldn’t see down the end of the road. They’d cordoned off the end of Shaftesbury and it looked pretty bad – there were already a couple of fire engines and the firemen were running about like mad. A crowd was already building. I could see flames through an upstairs window.’
Police then cordoned off the bottom of Shaftesbury Avenue, and further along the road, a police car was preventing people from coming down Highfield Lane, by the bottom of Church Lane. Two hours later the smoke had cleared to an extent, but several fire engines and a crane remained.
While no one is believed to be hurt, the cause of the fire is still unknown.