Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters were called to a fire at a shop on Corbets Tey Road in Upminster on Saturday night.
A single-storey storage shed attached to the rear of a shop was destroyed by fire. Firefighters evacuated residents in flats above the shop as a precaution. There were no reports of any injuries.
The Brigade was called at 21:28 and the fire was under control by 22:21. Fire crews from Harold Hill, Dagenham, Hornchurch and Romford fire stations attended the scene.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.