Around 80 firefighters dealt with a fire on an industrial estate off Ferry Lane in Rainham, Havering.
The blaze was very visible and Brigade 999 control officers took around 15 calls to the fire.
Station Manger Keith Carmichael, who was at the scene, said:
“A large pile of metal and plastic was alight but the fire was outside rather than in any of the industrial units and we worked hard to ensure it didn't spread to any of the estate buildings. While it caused a lot of a smoke, it was a still night so the plume did not drift and the industrial estate is not close to any residential areas. "
Crews were at the scene for a number of hours into the early morning.
Twelve fire engines tackled the fire from stations including Wennington, Barking and Hornchurch.
The Brigade was called at 2246 and the fire was under control by 0253.
The cause of the fire is believed to be due to controlled burning which had not been fully extinguished.