A shocked family has described how their Eid celebrations were interrupted when a fire broke out in the flat next door.
The Deep family were preparing a meal to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid when they became aware of smoke and fire coming from the flat next door in Helios Road in Hackbridge's Bedzed development at 2.30pm today.
The blaze devastated the ground floor flat and caused extensive damage to the first storey. One man, who lived in the ground floor flat, had to be taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Afshan Deep was in her flat cooking when the fire started. She said: "The first thing we realised there was smoke then we could hear the blast of the fire.
"I was cooking and there was the smell of burning - at first I thought it was that - but then I came out of the front and there was smoke everywhere. It was black, jet black, with the smoke.
"You couldn't see a thing.
The flat after the fire had been put out
"There was a guy in the upstairs flat and you could hear him jumping and screaming. The firemen arrived very quickly though and they managed to stop it very fast.
"I was worried about it spreading to our home."
Scott Hawker, who teaches at nearby Orchard Hill College, added: "The fire brigade were really quick but it spread really fast.
"We looked out of the building and the street was full of smoke. Then we could hear windows smashing.
"We came out and we were quite far away but you could feel the heat from it."
Neighbour Julie Hepburn said: "We could see the flames going right up the building. It cracked the glass right at the top."
It is not clear how the fire started but an investigation is underway.