North Woolwich fire: 125 firefighters control top-floor tower block blaze near airport

A fire raging on the top floor of tower block in London is now under control as thick smoke filled the sky with more than 100 over-stretched firefighters battling the flames.

Video footage captured plumes of thick, black smoke spewing from the blaze and trailing across the city skyline and which could be seen for many miles.

The London Fire Brigade confirmed fifteen fire engines and around 125 firefighters have been called to the scene in North Woolwich – and say there are currently no reports of any injuries.

The fire broke out just before 1pm, according to reports. The East London town is just over a mile from London City airport.

In a statement, a London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Fifteen fire engines and around 125 firefighters have been called to a flat fire on Manwood Street 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 1249. 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.”

Station Commander Keith Sanders, who is at the scene, said: “Crews arrived to find a top floor flat alight, which was producing heavy smoke and another fire in the grass area opposite.

“Crews are working to bring the fire under control and smoke is now subsiding.

“We are using our turntable ladders and drones at the scene to provide an aerial view of an incident to help Incident Commanders develop tactics to bring the fire under control.

“There were a lot of possessions and clutter inside the house which made it challenging for firefighters. It can make fires spread much faster, especially when there are lots of flammable items such as newspapers or cardboard.

“There are currently no reports of any injuries.”

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.”

It came following the busiest day the Fire Brigade have had since the second world war yesterday on a day where temperatures were broken.

One local wrote on twitter alongside a video: “#newham#fire giving me memories of #grenfell be safe everybody!”

London Fire Brigade in Newham East London tweeted: “We are currently dealing with a fire @LondonFire will provide further information in due course.”

One twitter user uploaded a photo of the fire raging from miles away.

He posted: “Crazy scenes by London City Airport – @LFBNewham already on site – really hope everyone has been evacuated.”

Yesterday, London was one of 15 areas around the UK to declare a major incident.

London Fire Brigade received 2,600 calls as it dealt with multiple fires.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Yesterday was the busiest day for the fire service in London since the Second World War.

“Normally we get 350 calls a day, on a busy day we can get up to 500 calls. Yesterday the fire service had more than 2,600 calls a day.”