Tenants in Fulham have been left homeless after fire ripped through their block of flats earlier today.
At least 30 people had to leave their homes while fire crews battled the blaze in Robert Owen House, off Fulham Palace Road, after flames took hold in the timber roof space at around 11.30am.
Half of the roof of one of the four-storey blocks was completely destroyed and several flats are believed to have been gutted by the inferno, while others have suffered water damage.
Work is now under way to find emergency accommodation for the H&F Homes tenants, many of whom were out at work when the blaze began.
Fulham Palace Road was closed to traffic in both directions as around 50 firefighters from Fulham, Hammersmith and Wandsworth battled for around an hour to get the blaze under control.
Teaching assistant Chiraz Hill, 30, who lives in the building, said: "I've never seen a flat go up like that before. To see the roof fall in so quickly was really frightening.
"Before we even knew it there was a big gap in the roof of the building - I don't think even the fire brigade were prepared for how quickly it went up. It went from everything being ok to 'get out your houses now'."
Fellow resident Tovya Baradaran, 25, said: "I could smell smoke coming out of the top floor, then the police came and they just evacuated the whole building.
"There was one flat on fire and the smoke was spreading everywhere. Hopefully I still have a flat left."
And Isam Awad, 50, whose home is directly beneath the area in which the fire started, said: "The whole roof was on fire and collapsing, with flames and smoke everywhere.
"I didn't even have chance to wash my face – I woke up and had to get out of the flat. My home is probably totally flooded but I haven't been allowed back inside to find out."
One man was given oxygen for mild smoke inhalation but no-one was seriously hurt.
Investigations are ongoing and the cause of the blaze, which may have started in an empty flat, has yet to be established.
Station manager Steven Ryan, based at the London Fire Brigade headquarters, said: "An initial difficulty our crews faced was gaining access to the common roof void. They had to cut through the ceilings of some of the top floor flats in order to get at the fire.
"There's a fair bit of damage there. At least 50 per cent of the roof has been destroyed.
"There was plenty of combustible material in the roof space."
Residents unable to return to their homes were taken to Hammersmith Town Hall while the council organised emergency shelter.