Firefighters were battling a fire at a restaurant in the heart of the West End.
The London Fire Brigade was called to Wardour Street, Soho, shortly before noon, sending six fire engines and 35 firefighters.
A spokeswoman said the blaze began inside the kitchen of a restaurant. Witnesses on Twitter said smoke appeared to be coming from above Latin American eatery Floridita.
Aleks Ugarow (@aleksUgarow) posted: “Buildings on fire in #Wardour Street #Soho right now. Stay safe.”
Brenda Edwards (@brenda_edwards) wrote: “Massive fire at Floridita on Wardour Street.”
Customers were forced to flee neighbouring restaurant Vapiano, whose staff reported on Twitter they had been told they would not be able to get back in the building before 3pm.
VapianoUK (@VapianoUK) tweeted: “Neighbours in Wardour, just heard we can’t get back in for at least another 2 hours. Have you heard anything? @wahaca?”