Another apartment block fire in London

LONDON, 25 June 2017: 

Ten fire engines and 72 firefighters were battling a blaze in east London late yesterday after flames engulfed a third-floor apartment in a low-rise block of buildings, injuring one man who was taken to hospital.

Britain has been rocked in recent days by a fire which killed at least 79 people when it engulfed a 24-storey building in west London on June 14, trapping residents in their beds as they slept.

That fire at Grenfell Tower spread rapidly, turning the burning building into a giant torch and terrifying residents.

The worst fire to hit the capital since World War II has prompted a nationwide review of high-rise buildings after police said the cladding used on Grenfell had failed all safety checks.

The London Fire Brigade, which is also working to evacuate residents from an estate in north London found to have similar cladding to Grenfell, said it had been called yesterday to a building in Bethnal Green, east London, where the third floor apartment and roof were on fire.

It had received 50 calls to its emergency telephone line.

“Firefighters from Bethnal Green and surrounding fire stations are attending the scene,” they said in a statement. “The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.

“The whole of a flat on the third floor and roof is also alight. A man has been taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.”

Britain said 34 high-rise apartment blocks had failed fire safety checks carried out after the deadly Grenfell Tower blaze, including several in north London where residents were forced to evacuate amid chaotic scenes.

British officials have conducted tests on some 600 high-rise buildings across England and the Department for Communities said 34 apartment blocks had failed tests in 17 parts of the country, from London in the southeast to Manchester in the north and Plymouth on the southwest coast.

Some 4,000 residents of the Chalcots Estate in Camden, north London, were told to vacate their apartments on Friday after the Fire Brigade ruled that their blocks were unsafe.

Emerging into the streets on a hot night from five tower blocks, residents clutched children, pets and small amounts of clothing and food to try to find a bed in a local hotel or with family or friends. Many were directed to inflatable beds laid out on the floor of the local sports hall.

“I know it’s difficult but Grenfell changes everything,” Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council, said in a statement. “I don’t believe we can take any risks with our residents’ safety.”

– Reuters

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