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Paint factory fire sends smoke billowing across London

More than 90 firefighters are battling the blaze on Waterloo Road.

More than 90 firefighters were tackling the large blaze at a paint factory on Waterloo Road.
More than 90 firefighters were tackling the large blaze at a paint factory on Waterloo Road. London Fire Brigade

A huge fire at a paint factory has sent smoke billowing across London with eyewitnesses reporting "fireballs" shooting into the air.

London Fire Brigade said more than 90 firefighters were tackling the large blaze at a paint factory on Waterloo Road, Staples Corner, on Monday.

Achal Dhillon who lives in Hendon, less than half a mile from the scene, said the fire was burning "quite violently" for more than 30 minutes.

The 33-year-old told the Press Association that he saw fireballs being propelled into the air from the burning building up to a height of 100 metres.

Witnessing the fire spread through the building Mr Dhillon, after spotting what was initially a small blaze or a "little dot", said there was then a "loud pop".

"Then we saw a lot of flames suddenly rise up by themselves... then just this huge mountain of fire, almost pyramid shaped and spiralling as it was shooting fireballs into the air," he said.

"It is still going, there is a huge trail of thick black smoke."

Mr Dhillon said he was "amazed" at how quickly the fire service responded, adding that it was probably only a couple of minutes before they arrived and were tackling the flames.

LFB said that since being called at 9.20pm they had taken more than 45 calls in relation to the blaze.

A spokesman said there are "no reports of anyone involved at this stage" when asked if there was anyone trapped inside the burning building.

"This is a significant fire at a paint factory off the North Circular which can be seen across London," he said.

"We'd ask people to avoid the area if possible and local residents to keep their doors and windows shut."

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