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Residents evacuated as blaze erupts in flat

PUBLISHED: 16:57 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:39 11 August 2010

Fire fighers work at the back of the building

Fire fighers work at the back of the building

A TAKEAWAY restaurant owner feared he would lose his flat when a raging fire broke out above his restaurant. Residents had to be evacuated when a blaze was started in the empty apartment above a derelict shop in Porters Avenue, Dagenham, last Thursday (M

A TAKEAWAY restaurant owner feared he would lose his flat when a raging fire broke out above his restaurant.

Residents had to be evacuated when a blaze was started in the empty apartment above a derelict shop in Porters Avenue, Dagenham, last Thursday (March 15).

As the flames soared upwards from the roof, Yui Lam, 40, who has run the Roundhouse Chinese Restaurant for more than 20 years, feared it would spread to his property next door, which was occupied by his sister.

But a six pump team of 30 firefighters managed to contain the blaze to the empty flat, and fortunately there was little damaged to the properties on either side.

Mr Lam said: "We had some clothes hanging up out the back of the restaurant, and when we went to check on them we saw the smoke rising into the air from the property above.

"The place which was on fire has been empty for years. My sister lives next door and I am just hoping there isn't any damage to it."

Emergency services were called at 3.07pm when a pillar of smoke was seen coming from the first floor flat opposite the Roundhouse Pub.

Firefighters broke into to ensure the place was empty, and then went to neighbouring properties from which the residents were evacuated.

Police are treating the blaze as arson. Anyone with information should phone DC Henry MxQuilliam on 0208 217 5536 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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