A RESTAURANT fire broke out in Sidcup early this morning forcing 21 people to flee the scene.

Almost 60 firefighters tackled the blaze at the Pizza 2 Night restaurant in Saint James Way after multiple calls alerted fire services at 4.30am.

Four water jets were used to put out the fire, which left the restaurant and a large part of the first floor severely damaged.

Fortunately the building was empty at the time and no one was injured.

A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said 21 people had "self evacuated" from surrounding property, adding: "All persons are accounted for".

Ian O'Connell, 44, Watch Manager, Peckham Fire Station, praised the quick response of the firefighters.

He said: "The fire fighters did well to stop the fire spreading - as soon as they showed up they got working and kept it contained."

The fire was under control by 6.20am.

Richard Waterton, 54, lives in Saint James Way 100 meters from where the fire broke out and was woken up by the fire.

He said: "There was a lot of smoke - I could not see across the road from my bedroom window because of all the smoke.

"I did not see any flames just a lot of smoke drifting for ages. The smoke stank.

"At first there was just one fire engine but there were twenty different vehicles within fifteen minutes.

"There were fire engines, ambulances and police cars."

Eight fire engines and 58 firefighters and officers from Plumstead, Erith, Bexley, Eltham, Sidcup, Bromley, and Orpington fire stations attended the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the London Fire Brigade’s fire investigation unit and the MET.

Mr O' Connell said: "It emphasises the need for people to ensure they have working smoke alarms and that they test and clean them on a regular basis."

For advice on prevention of fire and what to do in the event of a fire call the London Fire Brigade on 08000 284 428.

Did you witness the fire or know anything about it? Contact us and send your photos to patrickgg@london.newsquest.co.uk, tweet @bromley_patrick or ring 01689 885711.