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London fire destroys part of historic Camden Lock market

LiveMint logoLiveMint 10-07-2017 Aditi Khanna

London: A huge blaze on Monday destroyed parts of north London’s historic Camden Lock market, a popular tourist attraction in the UK, nearly a month after a deadly fire killed at least 80 people in the city.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said 70 firefighters and 10 fire engines were sent to the site. No injuries have been reported from the incident.

“No one was reported injured and the LFB have brought the fire under control. The cause of the fire is not yet known. The emergency services remain on scene and enquiries are ongoing,” Scotland Yard said in a statement.

An eyewitness said the fire spread “very fast” and there were fears of an explosion in nearby buildings when the fire broke out in the early hours of the day.

Major fires have hit the sprawling market area twice before in recent years. In February 2008, a famous pub in the area, The Hawley Arms, was severely damaged in a blaze, along with six shops and 90 market stalls.

In 2014, around 600 people fled a blaze in the Stables Market section of Camden Lock market, which is located in the former Pickfords stables and Grade II-listed horse hospital.

Around 28 million visitors flock to the market’s second- hand clothes and record stalls every year. An old timber yard by the canal was taken over in 1972 by a group of craftspeople, and in March 1974 they opened the first Camden Lock market, with 16 stalls.

The markets rapidly expanded as Camden’s new arrivals began decking out their Victorian homes with antiques and crafts. The area became increasingly fashionable during the punk era.

London is still recovering from the massive blaze at the Grenfell Tower residential block in west London last month, which claimed at least 80 lives and displaced hundreds.

Scores of housing blocks around the UK have since tested positive for similar flammable cladding used on the exterior of buildings, triggering a major inquiry into its use in buildings.

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