Green Street restaurant ‘stayed open as building blazed’

Diners at the Forest Gate restaurant damaged by fire yesterday carried on eating while, unknown to them and staff, flames raged above, it has emerged.

The Khana Khazana, in Green Street, could be closed for weeks while fire and building inspections take place.

Meanwhile, the pavement area outside the restaurant, at the junction with Woodstock Road, has been closed to the public during the investigations.

Contractors at the scene this afternoon said they were awaiting reports on the state of the building and did not rule out the possibility of a prolonged closure.

The blaze tore through a hall on the first floor from 2.20pm yesterday.

The operation, which involved 40 firefighters, forced the closure of Green Street for more than six hours from Romford Road to Plashet Grove, disrupting football fans heading for Upton Park to see West Ham United’s top of the table clash with Southampton.

Bus routes 58 and 330 were diverted, while routes 104 and 238, which were already on diversion onto Green Street, were also forced elsewhere.

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Lewis Orrow, Stratford Red Watch manager, said crews were still in place well into this morning.

He said: “There was a lot of refurbishment work going on before the fire.

“There would have been little pockets of fire that were difficult to get to, we weren’t going to risk people going in there.”