Enfield Lock families have described a “terrifying” fire at a derelict pub and called for action to stop the building being a problem.

The blaze on Tuesday night at the Rifles pub in South Ordnance Road gutted the ground floor and destroyed most of the roof of the building, which has been vacant for more than six years.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but families in the street told the Enfield Independent that groups of teenagers often broke into the decaying premises, which sits next to the lock on the Lee Navigation.

Mum-of-two Emine Karadag said: “The flames were very high and my daughter got a bit scared. There’s always kids breaking into to it and messing about – the police are up and down here a lot.

“It’s been like that for quite a long time and something needs to be done about it because it just brings trouble.”

Another, who asked not to be named, said: “It was terrifying – we thought we would have to flee the house for a minute because the flames might come onto our house.

“It was a really big fire and everyone was gathered around watching the firefighters put it out. It’s not nice to live next door to.”

Estate management firm Seedwell Ltd were given planning permission last year to turn the building into 23 flats and houses, which would restore the current exterior to fit into the Enfield Lock Conservation Area.

The Enfield Independent has been unable to contact the company to check on the progress of the development.