London fire: Major blaze hits 22-storey tower block

London Tower fire

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A large fire broke out on Monday afternoon, in East London on the 17th floor of a block of flats. London’s fire service said it sent 15 engines and 125 firefighters to the high-rise at Whitechapel High Street.

Eye-witnesses described large panels of glass falling hundreds of metres to the ground and smoke bellowing out of the windows. Three commercial units underneath the railway arches were completely alight, and four cars and a telephone box were also on fire.

At one point, flames began to spread to a balcony on the 18th floor before fire crews put them out. Fire could later be seen through a window on the 19th floor.

A resident in the 10th floor of the building, who was visiting her friend from Nottingham, said no alarms went off. The fire severely disturbed several victims who were in the building. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was in “close contact” with London Fire Brigade’s commissioner Andy Roe, Sky News reported.

According to property developer Hondo Enterprises, which sold the building in 2018, it is a 22-storey mixed use development consisting of more than 7,000 square feet of retail area, 97,000 square feet of commercial office space and 207 residential apartments.

It is located over Aldgate East Tube station between the City, the financial heart of London, and neighbourhoods Aldgate and Spitalfields.

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