Up to 2500 people were evacuated last week following a fire at a site being developed by Berkeley Group housebuilder St George in north London.

The blaze, which started last Wednesday afternoon at a site in Colindale, took fire fighters five hours to extinguish and destroyed 200 housing units. Nearby buildings including Hendon Police Training College, a police station, student halls of residence and local homes were evacuated.

Nobody was injured in the incident. The area has now been cordoned off, and it is understood that police and the fire brigade have launched an investigation.

Tony Pidgley, Berkeley Group managing director, said: “We can confirm there was a fire at a site in Hendon. Until there has been a forensic review, we won’t know how it started. The site contained 200 units at various stages of construction; some were completed. We have lost them all. It’s very tragic. The only consolation is that there were no injuries.”

The news comes at an otherwise good time for Berkeley. Two weeks ago it revealed that pre-tax profit at the company

had risen 6.2% to £165m in the year to the end of April. The company is also on course to return 200p a share to shareholders in January, following the sale of Crosby Homes to developer Lend Lease in July last year.