The owners of a popular Turkish restaurant have spoken of their shock after fire engulfed the premises.

Vadi Restaurant in High Street, Ponders End was burnt out when a fire began raging at 1am last Wednesday.

More than 70 firefighters from across London helped tackle the blaze, which gutted the restaurant and an adjacent estate agents'. Twenty people were also forced to flee from their homes above the stores.

Fatos Zer, owner of the restaurant and manager of the chain's other restaurant in Green Lanes, Palmers Green, said she was "amazed" by what had happened.

She said: "I have been working here for three or four years and never seen anything like this before. Our restaurant closed in Ponders End and then I was told what happened a few hours later, I couldn’t believe it. We are all in shock."

Ms Zer said the Palmers Green branch had now taken on more business as a result, but she was unsure when the Ponders End restaurant would reopen.

She added: "We haven’t lost too much business because lots of people have come to our other restaurant instead.

"The problem is that this restaurant isn’t as big as the one in Ponders End, where we used to hold functions, so that has been difficult but we are coping.

"There hasn’t been a time put in place for it to re-open but it could take a long time and a lot of money to fix."

London Fire Brigade told the Enfield Independent there was a problem with one of the deep fat fryers in the restaurant.

A spokesman added: "Our fire investigators have confirmed that the cause of the fire was accidental."

With 20 people needing to be rehoused as a result of the fire, an Enfield Borough Council spokesman said: "The council is working with everyone affected to ensure they get the appropriate help to find alternative accommodation where required."