Diners were forced to flee a fire caused by Christmas decorations at a Latin American restaurant in London’s West End on Friday night.
Video footage of the blaze showed people scrambling to escape MNKY HSE in Dover Street, Mayfair, after the flames spread rapidly. Two people were treated by ambulance personnel for their injuries.
London firefighters said they attended the incident after being called at 9.40pm to a fire in the building’s basement and it was brought under control within half an hour.
The flames reportedly spread quickly – having spread “in less than seven seconds”, according to one of the guests – prompting people to flee the building.
Footage on social media showed the fire raging as revelers escaped, with some people still clutching their drinks and others hiding under the fire to get to a doorway due to ceiling decoration which was on fire.
Some could be seen falling, while others were screaming and yelling at other guests to “leave”.
A London Fire Department spokesman said: “Firefighters were called to a fire at a restaurant in Dover Street in Mayfair.
“Christmas decorations inside the building were on and off before firefighters arrived. Approximately 300 people were evacuated by on-site personnel and crews carried out a systematic search of the property to ensure no one was inside on arrival.
“A man and a woman were treated at the scene by London Ambulance Service teams. Dover Street was closed while crews worked to secure the scene.
“The brigade was called at 9.40am and the incident was over for firefighters by 10.18pm. Five fire engines and approximately 35 firefighters from Soho, Lambeth, Kensington and Chelsea fire stations attended the scene.
They added that the cause of the fire was still under investigation and that thermal imaging had been used to check that everything was in order once the fire was extinguished.
Around 300 people were inside the restaurant at the time, as the incident happened during the busiest time of year. Guests were evacuated by security personnel.
Despite the ferocity of the fire, social media users commented on how calmly people came out of the restaurant. One person pointed out that people are “going out casually” and another asked, “Why do they look so calm?”
Another tweeted: “It’s amazing how no one left their drinks behind.”