Images and reporting by Roza Dawood.
A dramatic blaze in the Old Copperfield pub, also known as the Catford Bridge Tavern, in Doggett Road Catford has caused traffic chaos on the A205 South Circular and slowed down trains through Catford Bridge station.
Eight fire engines and 58 firefighters and officers have been needed to tackle the fire.
The pub is a local landmark and had been under refurbishment.
A police sergeant at Lewisham recognised the social significance of the pub while watching the flames and smoke surging from its roof and lighting up the night sky.
Firefighters led four people to safety from the building and they have been taken to hospital by the London Ambulance Service suffering light smoke inhalation.
The whole of the roof and second floor and part of the first floor was alight.
Trains travelling through nearby Catford Bridge station had to be slowed down to a reduced speed.
Firefighters from Greenwich, Lee Green, Bromley, Forest Hill, Lewisham, Bromley, East Greenwich and Orpington fire stations were at the scene.
The Brigade was first called to the incident at 5.54 pm.
The cause of the fire is not known at this time.