Whitechapel fire: 1 woman rushed to hospital after 17th floor tower block blaze see glass crash to ground

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A woman has been rushed to hospital after a tower block fire in Whitechapel, East London, saw glass crash to the ground from seventeen storeys high. Firefighters were called to the Relay Building near Aldgate East Tube Station shortly before 4pm on Monday (March 7).

London Fire Brigade’s group commander Jim Flint confirmed this evening that a woman has been taken to hospital. Dozens of other residents escaped from above the 17th floor where the blaze started and spread to the two above. Residents have since reported that fire alarms did not go off and residents were forced to knock on each other’s doors to notify them of the blaze.

READ MORE: Whitechapel fire live: Updates as London tower block fire near Aldgate East station finally out after glass panels ‘sent crashing to ground from 17th floor’

Twenty fire engines and around 125 firefighters were called to the fire at the block of flats and offices on Whitechapel High Street. Crews tackled a flat fire on the 17th floor of a 21-storey building. The fire also affected balconies on floors 17, 18 and 19.

Station Commander Chris Jenner, who was at the scene, said: “This was a dynamic and visible fire with our 999 Control Officers taking more than 50 calls in the early stages. A woman was trapped by the nature of the fire on the 17th floor.

“She was given fire survival advice by control officers until firefighters located her. Fire crews used a fire escape hood to help lead the woman to safety via the internal staircase. Around 60 people evacuated the building with others remaining in their unaffected flats.

“We mobilised a 64 metre turntable ladder to the scene. This is the tallest firefighting ladder in Europe and allowed us to get water onto the fire from outside the building. The professionalism, hard work and quick actions of control officers and firefighters limited the damage to the block and prevented serious injuries.”



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The Brigade was called at 3.53pm and the fire was under control by 7.07pm. Fire crews from Whitechapel, Shoreditch, Dowgate, Bethnal Green, Dockhead, Old Kent Road, Islington and surrounding fire stations were at the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. MyLondon has contacted the London Ambulance Service for details about casualty numbers.

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