Video: Daring escape from Finsbury Park fire
Eyewitnesses have told of a daring escape from the fierce blaze that decimated a Finsbury Park building in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday).
One man had to jump from his second-storey flat after the disused Chinese takeaway underneath caught fire at around 4.30am.
Another man forced his way through a door to get out of the blaze in Kings Crescent, and a baby boy was rescued from an adjoining home by a neighbour.
It took firefighters more than three hours to bring the flames, which spread to both flats above the takeaway, under control.
They remained on the scene dampening down the smouldering embers well into this afternoon while police kept the road closed.
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Neighbour Tom North, 30, said: “I was lying in bed when I heard a sound like popping glass – a jangling type noise. When I opened my eyes the ceiling of my room was glowing orange. I looked out of the window and the whole front of the shop was ablaze.
“I phoned 999 and while I was looking out of the window I saw someone in the top floor hang out of the window, drop onto a ledge and run along it, then jump to the floor.
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“The other guy from the flat came busting out of the door. They came into our house and we looked after them. They have been left with nothing but the clothes on their back – I feel so sorry for them.”
Tyson Marcou, 21, who has only lived in the area for a week, said: “We all went out knocking on doors to make sure everyone got out. I banged on one door and asked a woman if she needed any help, I was expecting a TV or something but she passed me a baby. I ran across the road with him and got him to safety.”
Nicky Rance, 28, said: “I was so scared looking at the flames because I thought at any moment I would hear screaming. No one has seen the three girls who live on the first floor and I was worried they were still in there. I saw the wife of the building’s owner and she was in tears.”
At the height of the blaze six crews from Holloway, Islington, Kentish Town and Stoke Newington fire stations were on the scene.
A spokesman for the London Fire Brigade said the entire ground floor has been badly damaged by fire. Half of the first and second floors, as well as the roof, were also gutted. He confirmed that two people left the building before firefighters arrived but they were not injured.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
See the dramatic footage above.