Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters were called to a fire at commercial units with flats above on Walthamstow High Street.

The fire destroyed two shops and a takeaway restaurant. Two residents from the flats were led to safety by crews.

Firefighters believe the fire was accidental and caused by a build up of grease and cooking fat in the takeaway restaurant’s extraction system.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “This fire was inside the ducting (extraction system).

“We’d like to remind restaurant and takeaway owners to ensure they don’t have dirty ducting. If you don’t clean the ducting in your extraction system regularly, you’re at a greater risk of ducting fires.

“You should also make sure you keep the hob, cooker hood and extractor fan clean too – built up fat and grease can ignite and cause a fire.”

Firefighters’ top tips for restaurants and takeaways:

Have ducting in your extraction system (ventilation) cleaned regularly
Ensure ducting is installed correctly
Take extra care when cooking with hot oil as it can easily overheat and catch fire
Never fill the pan more than one third full of fat or oil
Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil – oil and water are a dangerous mix
Use an electronic deep fat fryer if possible – they have automatic temperature controls and are much safer
Ensure your electrical system is regularly tested
Complete your Fire Risk Assessment and make an emergency plan
The Brigade was called at 2154 and the fire was under control by 0037. Crews from Walthamstow, Leyton, Tottenham, Leytonstone, Woodford, Homerton and Stoke Newington fire stations were at the scene.

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