A man was injured and a child among those removed from the wreckage after a suspected gas explosion at a west London store.
The explosion is believed to have occurred at a phone store and hairdressers on King Street in Ealing around 6:20 a.m. this morning.
Images on social media show firefighters climbing the building to help a person trapped in an apartment on the upper floor.
London firefighters said they saved four adults and a child from the building.
16 other residents, including two children, were evacuated from the premises.
The owner of the Dr Phone mobile phone store that was destroyed in the explosion said he was “shocked” to arrive at the scene.
Jatinder Singh, 36, said he received a phone call from a neighbor telling him his mobile phone store had been totally destroyed.
He told Standard: “It’s an absolute mess.
“I’m not sure what happened, I’m in shock. My owner is there now and he’s in shock too. I don’t know if anyone was injured or who was living upstairs. There is too much that I have lost in there.
He added: “I closed my shop as usual last night and I didn’t think anything was wrong. Then I got a phone call from a neighbor to come here to say that my shop was totally destroyed.
“I’m fine, I’m not injured. The police have a special team of dogs and are keeping everyone away. ”
A huge cordon was thrown around King Street as fire investigators began their investigation into the explosion.
A local business owner said, “There was a huge blow like an explosion. My shop shook. We hear that there are injuries… it’s a shock to all of us.
Another said: “We were told that a gas canister exploded. There are police and firefighters everywhere. We hope everyone we know is well. It is a very tight-knit community. ”
London firefighters said there had been a structural collapse of the building which involved a store with apartments above it.
Station Commander Alan Brand, who is at the scene, said: “Four adults and a child were rescued from the back of the property by firefighters using a ladder. Fourteen other adults and two children were evacuated from surrounding properties. building for anyone else who might be involved.
“It’s an ongoing operation and I would ask people to avoid the area if possible.”
About 40 firefighters from Southall, Hayes, Heston, Ealing and Feltham are on the scene.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said they did not view the explosion as suspicious.
He added: “There was a large explosion inside a store. A man was found injured. Roads were closed and residents of the surrounding area were evacuated. ”
“At this early stage, it is believed to be a gas explosion and is not considered suspicious. ”
This story is being updated.