Up to 70 firefighters are trying to contain a huge fire at Western Europe's largest mosque, in Morden, south-west London, with 10 fire engines at the scene of the emergency. The fire is said to have broken out just after 12pm and raged through the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London Road.
It is understood to have taken hold and swept through the ground and first floors of the building that includes the mosque itself and a community hall. A man in his forties is said to have been injured and taken from the building as a precautionary measure but it is not yet clear whether anyone else has been hurt in the fire.
The mosque has now been safely evacuated and roads have been shut off surrounding the site, with drivers advised to take alternative routes away from the building.
The mosque, which serves the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, opened in 2003 and can hold up to 10,000 worshippers. A statement from the London Fire Brigade said: "Ten fire engines and 70 firefighters and officers are dealing with a fire in a mosque and community hall on London Road in Morden. The fire is affecting around half of the ground floor, part of the first floor and part of the building's roof."
The fire was captured on camera by local dog grooming store Doggy Boutique. Commenting on its Twitter feed, the retailer said "mosque on fire in Morden" and posted a video of the incident.
Station manager Philip Morton, who was at the scene, said: "This is a large fire and crews are working hard to minimise fire spread to other parts of the building. There is also a lot of traffic congestion near the incident so we would advise people to avoid the area if possible."
Crews from New Malden, Wandsworth, Tooting, Sutton, Mitcham and Norbury fire stations continue to attend the incident. The cause of the fire is not known at this stage, said the brigade.