London

London Euston pub fire: Cigarette may have sparked blaze

Somers Town coffee house Image copyright @_fastamersham
Image caption The Somers Town Coffee House caught fire during the World Cup game between Serbia and Switzerland

A discarded cigarette is believed to be what sparked a large pub fire in central London, firefighters have said.

Half of the roof and the second floor of Somers Town Coffee House were damaged in the blaze on Friday evening, according to the London Fire Brigade.

Revellers reported seeing flames and plumes of smoke as they were evacuated onto Chalton Street in Euston.

Investigators said the cause of the fire was thought to be "the unsafe disposal of smoking materials".

There were at least 72 firefighters tackling the blaze at one stage.

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Media captionVideo credit: Thomas Looney
Image copyright @jaimietdenholm
Image caption The pub is a few hundred metres from Euston, King's Cross and St Pancras railway stations

Station Manager Steve Chesson, who attended the fire, said on Monday: "This incident shows how important it is to ensure your cigarette is completely out when you've finished smoking it.

"You risk causing a fire which could not only destroy property, but could also cost you your life."

Corin Faife said he had been in the pub watching the World Cup game between Serbia and Switzerland with his brother when he noticed a group of people outside and saw some smoke.

"Suddenly the fire alarm went off and a staff member told us to get out," the 32-year-old said.

"The bar staff were running around making sure everybody got out.

"It was a pretty scary situation. We grabbed all of our things and ran."

Image copyright @_fastamersham
Image caption There were 72 firefighters tackling the blaze at one stage, the London Fire Brigade said

Tim Ahmeti, who lives nearby, was also watching the football when he realised the pub was alight.

"I smelt smoke as soon as I opened my front door," he said.

"My whole front street filled with smoke and everyone was standing outside just watching the blaze."

Image copyright @corintxt
Image caption Crowds gathered to watch clouds of smoke settle over Chalton Street

The pub, which describes itself as "an old British boozer with a twist", spreads across at least two floors and includes a speakeasy cocktail bar.

The brigade was called to Chalton Street, a few hundred metres from Euston, King's Cross and St Pancras railway stations, at 20:06 BST on Friday. The fire was under control by 21:28.

No injuries were reported.

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