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About 80 firefighters have rushed to the scene of a large fire at Highbury Leisure Centre.

The large plume of smoke could be seen coming from the building from some distance.

London Fire Brigade has said 80 firefighters and 12 fire engines were called at 12.03pm to bring the flames under control.

There are so far no reports of injuries, as around 100 members of the public and staff evacuated before emergency services arrived, but the roof of the building was damaged.

Station Manager James Chapman said: “Crews worked hard in difficult conditions to bring this large fire under control.

“A number of local road closures are in place around the site, so motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible.”

Firefighters from Islington, Holloway, Stoke Newington, Paddington and surrounding fire stations are expected to remain on scene into the evening damping down.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

We'll bring you the latest on this developing incident on our live blog below:

What we know about the Highbury Leisure Centre fire

To recap:

  • The London Fire Brigade were called to Highbury Leisure Centre at 12.03pm after a fire started, which damaged the roof.
  • 80 firefighters and 12 engines were needed to control the blaze, which was under control by 2.47pm.
  • Public and staff evacuated and there are no reports of injuries.
  • This damage comes less than a year after a multi-million-pound extension was completed in February.

Eyewitness account of the blaze

An eyewitness living near the centre said: “I first noticed the smell of smoke in my house and thought it seemed strange, then I started to hear lots of sirens nearby.

Firefighters tackling the blaze
Firefighters tackling the blaze

“I went outside to see what was happening and could then see a cloud of smoke from the Highbury fields area.

“As I got closer, I could see it was coming from the leisure centre. My first thoughts were that I hoped nobody had been hurt but I also thought it was such a shame as the leisure centre has not long been renovated and had only been reopened recently.”

Fire comes less than a year after multi-million extension completed

The damage to the Highbury Leisure Centre’s roof comes less than a year after the completion of a multi-million extension project.

The plans were approved on February 1 2016 and the project took around 18 months to complete.

Some residents were unhappy with the completed project, claiming it was unsightly.

Another picture from the scene

Firefighters used cranes to spray the blaze from above, as part of efforts to tackle it that lasted over two hours.

A firefighter tackling the blaze
A firefighter tackling the blaze

Council leader thanks London Fire Brigade for speedy response

Islington Labour council leader Richard Watts thanked the London Fire Brigade for their response on Twitter.