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London fire: How Europe’s longest ladder and a fire escape hood helped

London Tower fire

More than 125 firefighters locked horns with a blaze in East London as they successfully evacuated 60 people were from a tower block as a large fire broke out.

A fire broke out in the tower block of flats and offices on Whitechapel High Street in Aldgate East on Monday afternoon with large flames could be seen fanning out of the 17th floor of the building. Dramatic footage from onlookers showed falling burning had fallen to the ground.

In its aid firefighters deployed a 64m (210ft) ladder, which is being touted as Europe’s largest. The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said a woman had to be given ‘fire survival advice’ until firefighters got to her as she was trapped on the 17th floor.

Chris Jenner, station commander, told the BBC: “Fire crews used a fire escape hood to help lead the woman to safety via the internal staircase.”

A fire escape hood offers up to 15 minutes protection from fire gases such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride and acrolein. They do not provide oxygen but temporarily filter toxic smoke to make breathing easier, LFB said.

London Ambulance Service said two patients were taken to hospital while two others were checked over at the scene.