Fifteen fire engines and around 100 firefighters attended a fire at a range of shops on Sherrard Road in Newham.
Firefighters were initially called to a fire at a mid-terraced shop with a flat above.
The fire spread into four neighbouring shops and into two of the flats above them.
The ground floor of the all of the properties were damaged by the fire as well as two flats above them on the first floor.
Around 26 people left the residential properties before the Brigade arrived and one man was been treated by firefighters at the scene for smoke inhalation.
A spokesperson for London Fire Brigade said: “The fire spread through several old shop premises and was difficult to gain control of due to it spreading in different ways.
A range of equipment has been used to tackle the fire, our crews have used breathing apparatus to carry out searches of all of the premises and we are used our aerial appliances to observe from above.
We also used our drone to gain a better view of the fire.” Firefighters will remain at the scene throughout the night and next day to dampen down the area.
The Brigade was called at 10.24pm and the fire was under control at 3.06am. Fire crews from Stratford, Leytonstone, Plaistow, East Ham, Ilford, Barking, Dagenham, Walthamstow, Millwall, Homerton, Stoke Newington, Whitechapel and Leyton fire stations attended the scene. The cause of the fire will be investigated by the Brigade and the Metropolitan Police Service.