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Flat fire breaks out in North Woolwich with 125 firefighters tackling blaze
20 July 2022, 13:28 | Updated: 20 July 2022, 16:44
Firefighters have put out a flat fire after it broke out at the top of a block of flats in North Woolwich.
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Around 125 firefighters and 15 fire engines tackled the blaze in a four-room 17th floor apartment in east London, London Fire Brigade (LFB) said.
Footage appeared to show thick plumes of smoke barrelling out of the top floor windows of the building, identified as Dunedin House.
Flames could also be seen, according to eyewitnesses.
Firefighters were simultaneously tackling a blaze involving around one hectare of grass opposite the block, which is close to London City Airport.
It is not known what caused either fire.
A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "We have sent a number of resources to the scene, including advanced paramedics and our hazardous area response team."
No injuries were reported.
Nearby London City Airport was operating as usual.
It is the latest blaze to break out in the capital following a record breaking heatwave that saw the mercury pushed to 40C on Tuesday.
A flat Fire in North woolwich pic.twitter.com/Yt1a3CrpIM— London & UK Street News (@CrimeLdn) July 20, 2022
A spokesperson for London Fire Brigade said: "Fifteen fire engines and around 125 firefighters have been called to a flat fire in North Woolwich.
"A four-roomed flat on the 17th floor of the building is completely alight. Firefighters are also tackling a fire involving around one hectare of grass opposite the block at the junction between Manwood Street and Silverland Street.
"The Brigade's 999 Control Officers have taken more than 105 calls to the blaze. The Brigade was called at 12:49.
"Fire crews from Shadwell, Dowgate, Dockhead, Shoreditch and surrounding fire stations are at the scene.
"The cause of the fire is now known at this time."
The London Fire Brigade confirmed that the floors below the flat on fire, which was located on the top floor, were evacuated during the incident, but there was no mass evacuation of the entire building.
One resident of the flats said he was forced to alert his neighbours because the fire that started on the 17th floor did not trigger an alarm.
Mohammad Rajib Hossain, 29, said he only heard about the fire because one of his friends in a different building rang him to say she could see flames.
He continued: "I had to knock on the door, you know, they're my neighbours, I had to knock the door and say there's a fire.
"They didn't know, some of them were sleeping. No one knows, there's no fire alarm or nothing.
"There is no fire alarm in the whole building, it is inside the flat but not outside."
Another resident forced to flee the flats said they feared the blaze could be on the scale of the Grenfell disaster.
"The first thing we all thought was Grenfell Tower, we thought we were there, you know?" the woman, who declined to leave her name, said.
As she headed down Albert Road away from her home, she added: "I'm trying to find out where I'm going to go tonight with my family."
A fire in Kenton, north west London, on Tuesday completely destroyed a disused church hall, a car wash, two houses and nine vehicles.
A blaze in Wennington in the east of the capital, described as "absolute hell" by a firefighter, destroyed at least one property with many others badly damaged.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that 41 properties had been destroyed in London by fires in the heatwave.
He said Tuesday was the busiest day for the London Fire Brigade since WW2.
The UK's record-breaking weather on Monday and Tuesday has been linked to climate change.
Met Office Chief of Science and Technology, Professor Stephen Belcher, said 40C should be "virtually impossible" in the UK but global warming has "made these extreme temperatures possible".
"In some ways, of course, 40C is an arbitrary figure because we see the impacts of heatwaves at lower temperatures, but for me it's a real reminder that the climate has changed and it will continue to change," he said.
"Research conducted here at the Met Office has demonstrated that it's virtually impossible for the UK to experience 40C in an undisrupted climate.
"But climate change driven by greenhouse gases has made these extreme temperatures possible, and we're actually seeing that possibility now."
He said he was not "expecting to see [temperatures of 40C in the UK] in his career", adding it is "a real reminder that the climate has changed and will continue to change".