15 fire engines and 125 firefighters called to stop blaze in London tower block | London

15 fire engines and 125 firefighters were called to extinguish a large blaze in a top-floor flat in a tower block in North Woolwich, east London, after a record-breaking heatwave saw a number of fires break out on Tuesday.

Smoke was billowing out of the four-room apartment as a fire raged across the entire flat and balcony, which appears to be located on the top floor of a 17-storey block, according to footage shared on Twitter by the London fire brigade.

The scene at Manwood Street in North Woolwich. Photograph: Rolly Apao/PA

The fire brigade said it was called to Manwood Street, near London City airport, on Wednesday afternoon. The cause of the fire was not yet known.

Faisal Karim, a 58-year-old resident of the tower block, said: “I was out at the time of the fire and when I arrived back it was completely out, with just one police car blocking off the street and also a fire engine.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it was connected to [Tuesday’s] heatwave, our flats get really hot and humid … it’s unbearable to stay inside all day.”

Pete Sanders, a press liaison officer for the London fire brigade, said that as well as the apartment fire, a hectare of grass was on fire opposite the premises, at the junction between Manwood Street and Silverland Street. He added: “Crews are working really hard to bring the fire under control, but there are very challenging conditions with the flat.

“There’s lots of possessions which is making it very challenging for crews to completely get the fire out, although … the fire is now under control. There’s no reports of any injuries. We’ve just had it confirmed that all persons are accounted for at this incident.”

The fire was reported to be under control by 3pm, and the cause is under investigation.

It follows fire services in London facing their busiest day since the second world war on Tuesday as temperatures in excess of 40C resulted in fires across the UK.

The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, said the fire service would usually expect 500 calls on a busy day but received more than 2,600 on Tuesday, when more than a dozen fires were raging at the same time.

He added on Wednesday morning that he had spoken to the fire commissioner, who expressed concern about the potential for further blazes.


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