HOMES have been evacuated as 75 firefighters battle to bring a blaze at warehouses under control.

The fire started in Billet Road, Walthamstow, at about 4.20pm today (Friday) and crews from Walthamstow, Leytonstone, Chingford and Woodford are at the scene.

Houses near the fire have been evacuated and Billet Road has been closed between the Crooked Billet roundabout and Millfield Avenue, as there are several gas cylinders inside the units, which can explode when exposed to heat.

Station manager Peter Critchell, who is currently in Billet Road, said: “There is no doubt – this is a large blaze. Our firefighters are working extremely hard in very warm conditions to try and get the flames under control.”

Dilip Patel, of Londis in Billet Road, which is just outside the area closed off by the police, said: “We saw lots of thick, black smoke and that was the first we saw of it. The fire took hold very quickly, but there was no bang.”

No-one is thought to have been injured in the fire.