Members of the Josif family looked on as firefighters put out the last flames at Archway Sheet Metal Works this morning.

The family owns the business in Paxton Road, adjacent to Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane stadium in High Road.

The premises caught fire in the early hours of this morning. A total of six fire engines and 35 firefighters attended at 5am and were still on the scene at 11.30am.

An employee of the business told the Independent that firefighters said two empty petrol cans were found inside building. A spokesman for the London Fire Brigade refused to confirm that this was the case.

Sean McKeown, a recently retired employee, said: “I can’t believe it. I just can’t. We get on with people down here, this is a small family business. I’ve worked here for decades, it’s a fantastic place. Everyone who works here, we’re all one big family.

“I don’t know what they’re going to do, we’ve got so many orders. It’s a successful business. People won’t be happy.”

Mario Christadolou, Archway’s longest serving employee, also expressed disbelief. He said: “Archway is a cutting-edge business, they supply catering equipment to all the kebab shops in Tottenham. They’re a proper local business. I don't understand it."

Andrea Loizou, who works as a PA to owner Peter Josif, said it was only by chance that nobody was inside the building at the time of the balze.

She said: "Sometimes people go in early, at around 5am or 6am. They're factory workers, they start work early.

"Mario is a Spurs fan. How do you think he feels? The abuse we've been getting is bad, girls on the front desk get phonecalls and people just saying 'you're dead' and stuff to them.

"People seem to think we're just some silly little business, they don't realise half the things we make. If you go into any kebab shop, not just in Tottenham, but in France even, you'll see Archway Metals machines. But we just get hate mail. Look at all these people whose livelihoods have now been destroyed. for what? Why would someone do this?"

Peter Josif, one of the brothers who own the business, did not want to comment on the incident.

Police say they have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire. A spokesman said: “It is too early to establish a cause at this time.”