Large Fire Breaks Out at High-Rise London Tower Block

A large fire broke out at a high-rise tower block in east London on March 7 afternoon, prompting about 60 people to evacuate.

Over 125 firefighters and 20 fire engines tackled the blaze on the 17th floor of the 21-story building on Whitechapel High Street in Aldgate East.

The fire also affected the balconies on the 18th and 19th floors.

Crews extinguished the fire at around 7 p.m. local time, the London Fire Brigade Service (LFB) confirmed.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Footage had showed burning debris had fallen to the ground and black smoke had covered the skies.

“This was a dynamic and visible fire with our 999 Control Officers taking more than 50 calls in the early stages,” LFB Station Commander Chris Jenner, who was at the scene, said.

The London Ambulance Service said it brought one person to the hospital and treated two people at the scene.

Jenner said officers gave a woman trapped on the 17th floor “fire survival advice” and a “fire escape hood to help lead the woman to safety via the internal staircase.”

A fire escape hood offers up to 15 minutes of protection from fire gases and can be worn by conscious or unconscious people. It does not provide oxygen but temporarily filters toxic smoke to make breathing easier, according to LFB.

Jenner also said that crews used a 64-meter (210 feet) ladder — the tallest in Europe — to get water onto the fire from outside the building.

“The professionalism, hard work and quick actions of control officers and firefighters limited the damage to the block and prevented serious injuries,” Jenner said.

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