A Clapham cafe has been gutted and a charity shop closed following a fire just down the road from a fire station earmarked for closure.
Fire broke out in Mario’s Cafe on Clapham High Street in the early hours of Tuesday morning, May 7, and six fire engines battled for three hours to bring the fire under control.
It left Mario’s destroyed and the Trinity Hospice charity shop next door severely smoke damaged, its stock ruined.
Owner of next-door Clapham Books, Nikki Kastner, said: “Thank goodness we still had the fire station! This was a major incident where people were evacuated and we were very, very lucky.”
Clapham Fire Station is listed for closure under Mayor of London proposals which require the London Fire Brigade to make cuts of £28.8 million.
Following the fire brigade’s revised response times announced last week, London Assembly member Val Shawcross said: “In Clapham Town, response times will increase from 3.56 to 7.53 minutes – an increase of almost four minutes. Clearly the Clapham wards in Lambeth are going to be directly impacted by the proposed closure of Clapham Fire station.”
Ms Kastner said: “That extra few minutes could have meant the fire coming through our walls.”