A firefighter turned midwife today at the scene of a major blaze after learning his maternity ward skills watching the Channel 4 series One Born Every Minute.

Ross McLaren delivered a baby boy after a car with a woman in labour came through cordons at the scene of the fire in Enfield, north London.

A spokesman for London Fire Brigade said the car had "nothing to do" with the fire but was thought to have been caught in traffic nearby.

"The car came through cordons asking for help as the woman was in labour. Two of the firefighters were called, Ross McLaren and his colleague Richard Hall. They went into the car and they could already see the baby's head at that stage," he said.

"Ross said he knew what to do as his wife is an avid viewer of One Born Every Minute. An ambulance was called and the baby was delivered at 11am. The ambulance was called and the mother and baby went off to hospital and we believe they are both fine."

He said Mr McLaren, part of the Blue Watch at Euston fire station, had been tackling the blaze for some time when he was called to help.

A London Ambulance spokeswoman said: " We were called at 10.48am to Nags Head Road. We sent a single responder by car and an ambulance crew with the first of our staff arriving on scene in just over two minutes.

"Staff treated a woman, reported to be in her 30s, and she was taken as a priority to North Middlesex Hospital, arriving at 11.22 am."

Amanda Salmon, an emergency medical technician from Ponders End station, said: "Mum was holding the baby when I arrived. The cord hadn't been cut yet so I did that.

"I removed the wet blankets and put the baby into some fresh ones to keep him warm.

"We got the baby into the warm ambulance when it arrived and I helped mum in afterwards."

More than 70 firefighters were called to the blaze in a restaurant and a number of flats on the High Street, Ponders End, in the early hours of this morning.

London Fire Brigade said 12 people had escaped before crews arrived.

Station Manager Mark Blomfield, who was at the scene, said: "Our firefighters have worked extremely hard in very challenging conditions to contain what was a very large blaze.

"The fire has damaged a restaurant and a number of flats, but fortunately crews have managed to stop the fire from spreading further."