Almost 100 firefighters took more than three hours to tackle a huge fire that completely destroyed a warehouse in south-east London overnight.
Witnesses reported hearing explosions as huge plumes of smoke were sent hundreds of feet into the air.
Flames and smoke could be seen from miles away, the London Fire Brigade said, and more than 50 people called 999 to report the blaze.
Station Manager Norman Perry, who was at the scene, said: “Fire crews worked hard to bring this under control.
“The blaze was in an industrial area and we managed to stop it spreading to any residential homes. “We are likely to be at the scene throughout the morning damping down pockets of fire.”
Fire crews from Greenwich, Plumstead, Erith, Lee Green, Eltham, Deptford, Poplar, Shadwell, Bexley, Lewisham, Millwall and Sidcup brought it under control by 5.40am.
The cause of the blaze has not yet been determined.
A picture taken by firefighters showing the burning warehouse in Erith
It came two days after a fire at another industrial unit in London destroyed Valentine’s Day roses.
The unsold flowers were burned in a florists’ storage area in Chiswick after a smoker threw their cigarette into a commercial waste bin.
The flames threatened to reach a helium cylinder used for balloons and firefighters set up a 200 metre cordon while they prevented a possible explosion.