Fire in Shadwell flats: Residents flee tower block as flames spread


Residents have been forced to flee a London tower block where fire has engulfed a 15th-floor flat.

Flames could be seen spreading through the block prompting more than 65 people to call 999 for help.

Twelve fire engines and around 80 firefighters rushed to tackle the blaze in Hindmarsh Close in Shadwell, east London.

London Fire Brigade said most of the 15th-floor flat in a 24-storey block of flats was alight, and a 64-metre turntable ladder was called to help fight the flames from height.

The smoke and flames could be seen from miles away.

Much of the flat involved was damaged by fire and half of a neighbouring flat was also damaged.

The brigade said around 40 people left the building before crews arrived and around 20 people were led to safety by firefighters.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries, but people in the area were advised to keep windows and doors closed.

Roads in the area were closed after people raised the alarm at 12.16 on Wednesday. By 1.30pm, the fire was under control, the brigade said.

Crews from Shadwell, Whitechapel, Shoreditch, Dockhead, Millwall and surrounding fire stations were at the scene.

A number of roads were closed while fire crews tackled the blaze (Google Maps)
A number of roads were closed while fire crews tackled the blaze (Google Maps)

The cause of the fire was being investigated, the brigade said.

Station Commander Steve Irvine, who was at the scene, said: “A respite centre has been set up locally for those who have been affected by the fire and we are working with local partners.

“Road closures remain in place in the area and we’d ask that people continue to avoid the area at this time.”

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called today at 12.46pm to reports of a fire on Hindmarsh Close, E1.

“We have sent a number of resources to the scene, including an ambulance crew, an incident response officer and members of our hazardous area response team.

“Our first medics arrived in less than five minutes. The incident is ongoing and we are working with our emergency services partners.”