Investigators reveal possible cause of Camden market fire

14:01 21 May 2014

Camden Stables Market fire: Officers behind the cordon. Picture: Polly Hancock

Camden Stables Market fire: Officers behind the cordon. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

A devastating fire that swept through the Stables Market in Camden Town on Monday night has left several traders facing potential ruin - with the possible cause revealed by investigators this morning.

About 600 people were evacuated just before 8pm after thick smoke was seen billowing out of a shop in one of the railway arches near Gilgamesh restaurant.

The first of 10 fire engines arrived within minutes and firefighters battled flames as they spread through the market’s cobbled alleyways.

A plume of smoke, seen for miles around, towered above the market as it took more than 70 firefighters almost three hours to bring the blaze under control.

About five units were said to be damaged by the fire, with at least one shop “completely destroyed”.

Onlookers said it was a “miracle” nobody was hurt.

“I just saw the smoke, ran towards it to see what was happening and called security,” said Erol Sezgin, who works at a food stall.

“Smoke was towering into the sky and flames were spreading up the side of the arches. We even saw a train on the railway above driving through flames and smoke.

“It’s incredibly lucky nobody was killed.”

The fire brigade confirmed there were no fatalities or injuries. Forensic teams spent much of the following day combing over the scene with early reports suggesting the fire was “accidental”, caused by “an electrical issue”.

Reports also suggested it may have started in DripDrop London, a shoe shop which has been running from Stables Market for more than three years.

Owner Feining “Daisy” Zhou said she was “completely shocked” when she discovered her shop had been left in ruins.

“I got a call on Monday evening from my friend saying there was a fire spreading through the market,” she said. “But I had no idea it was at my shop. I was shocked.

“We don’t know how it started – all we know is our shop is completely destroyed.

“It’s incredibly upsetting. Such a huge amount of work, just up in flames. I don’t know if we’re covered by insurance.”

Valentine Chimes, owner of a neighbouring business, was also devastated to find out his shop had sustained serious damage.

“I took out a loan to open up about six months ago,” he said.

“I’ve been told my stock is totally destroyed so I’ve lost about £50,000. I don’t have insurance – I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Other traders affected also complained of having no insurance and were uncertain of their future.

As some were allowed to reopen at about midday on Tuesday, the two alleyways affected remained closed.

The scene brought back memories of a far more serious fire in the neighbouring Canal Market six years ago.

Dubbed the ‘“Great Fire of Camden”, the inferno produced 30ft flames and left hundreds trying to rebuild their livelihoods.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 15:35
Kato Harris will appear at Isleworth Crown Court next Tuesday

This is the first picture of teacher Kato Harris who has appeared in court accused of repeatedly raping an underage girl.

Yesterday, 17:10
Actresses Juliet Stevenson and Michelle Collins with volunteers and Alexandra's mum Lindsey Wylie from the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF) launch the Christmas food parcel appeal. Picture: Polly Hancock

A charity is marking the fifth anniversary of a Highgate schoolgirl’s death from cancer with the launch of a Christmas appeal to help children left without support following the closure of Kids Company.

Yesterday, 12:53
Victims of the contaminated blood scandal: (left) Nick Hirsch, (right, from top) Clair Walton and her late husband, Colette Wintle and Mark Ward

Timetable for settlement on NHS scandal has slipped yet again say campaigners - as they wait to see if cash is allocated in chancellor’s autumn spending review

Yesterday, 08:46
The London Fire Brigade has put forward proposals to axe 13 fire engines to save £11million

‘While a new website would be welcome, this should not be done at the cost of frontline cuts’ says fire resources committee chief

Tue, 18:01
Khayerul Miah, pictured, and his brother have joined IS in Syria

The two young men from Kentish Town who left the UK to fight for Islamic State (IS) in Syria are former pupils of Acland Burghley School.

Tue, 16:46
The government says the HPV vaccine is safe and will protect against deaths from cervical cancer

East Finchley mother accuses pharmaceutical industry and government of ‘ignoring generation of sick girls’ as European Medicines Agency finds no link between illnesses and cervical cancer jab

Tue, 15:58
Carl Ryan, who is charged with misconduct in a public office, outside court (Picture: Central News)

A detective who faked records - including witness statements by Whittington Hospital staff - thwarted three investigations into serious sex assaults, a court heard.

Tue, 12:18
Firefighters from West Hampstead were called to tackle the large blaze in Finchley Road - which burned for 72 hours

West Hampstead and Hornsey fire stations could both lose an engine under controversial cost-cutting proposals

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder