100 firefighters battle blaze in northeast London, arson suspected - reports (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

100 firefighters battle blaze in northeast London, arson suspected - reports (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
Up to 100 firefighters have been called to a blaze at a Poundland discount store on Old Church Road in Chingford, northeast London on Wednesday evening, according to local media reports.

"At this early stage, the fire is being treated as suspicious. Three suspects were seen to leave the area soon after the fire started," said a Metropolitan Police spokesperson, as cited by the Evening Standard.

"Nearby properties have been evacuated as a precaution. No arrests have been made," the spokesperson added.

Half of the ground floor is alight, part of the first floor and the roof is also on fire, reports the London Fire Brigade.

Local residents and patrolling police officers raised the alarm at approximately 7pm local time.

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Fire crews from Chingford and surrounding stations are on the scene to try and tackle the blaze.

"This fire is massive. I haven't seen anybody shouting or being dramatic but I think the whole roof is on fire," eyewitness Jonathan Boyce, 37, told the Evening Standard.