London

Camden Lock Market blaze: Businesses destroyed

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Media captionCamden Lock fire eyewitness: "I could see flames"

Dozens of stall-holders have lost their entire stock after a blaze ripped through Camden Lock Market in north London overnight.

About 30 stalls were based in the Market Hall, where the fire began, while other local businesses had goods stored inside the destroyed building.

One market owner said he believed about 100 traders had been affected and some would be "finished" as a result.

About 70 firefighters tackled the blaze at the popular tourist attraction.

Market is 'our heart and soul'

Major fires have hit the sprawling market area twice before in recent years, with one in 2008 leading to part of the site being shut down for over a year.

The market, which has been based in the area since 1974, boasts more than 1,000 stalls and shops.

Image copyright Dan Ickowitz-Seidler/PA
Image caption No-one was injured in the fire

Market worker Kareem Khodeir said he believed about 100 traders had been affected, while 30 who had permanent stalls in the building "have completely lost everything".

"It most likely will destroy a few businesses completely," he said.

Deicola and Leora Neves, who own Camden Guitars, which is based in the damaged building, said their shop had been destroyed and "everything has gone".

"This is where we started and we're really feeling the loss of that," Ms Neves said.

Image caption Firefighters contained the blaze to one building
Image caption Much of the market was not affected by the blaze

Open-air trader Laetitia Dupont said the lamps she sells in the market, which she stored in the burnt building, had all been destroyed.

"Even if the fire didn't touch it, the water has," she said.

Camden fire: 'It's our heart and soul'

Ms Dupont, who does not have insurance, added she was unsure what would happen to her business.

London Fire Brigade, which was called just before midnight, sent 10 fire engines and an aerial appliance to fight the flames.

Station manager Peter Wolfenden said the front of the building had been saved but the back was now "all charcoal".

Image copyright Billy Farrington/Reuters
Image caption The blaze lit up the area around Camden Lock
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption London Fire Brigade said the back of the building had been turned to "charcoal"

Alex Proud, founder of the Proud Galleries in Camden, said the fire brigade had "turned up incredibly quickly and stopped what could have been a really substantial fire which could have wiped out the market".

He said only about 5-10% of the market had been damaged and "75% of the market is now open".

The cause of the blaze is unknown.

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