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80 firefighters tackle blaze at 17-storey block of flats in London



Around 80 firefighters are tackling a fire at a 17-storey block of flats in south-east London, prompting the evacuation of a nearby hotel.

A dozen fire engines are at the scene of the fire in St Mark’s Square, Bromley, London Fire Brigade (LFB) said.

Half of a five-room flat on the 15th floor of the block is alight and part of the roof is also on fire.

Firefighters were called at 11.58am and are still at the scene. The brigade’s 999 control centre received 88 calls alerting them to the blaze.

The Premier Inn hotel next to the tower has been evacuated and guests have been told they are likely to wait several hours to get back inside.

Jerome Smith, 22, who is staying there, said: “ I was asleep, woke up, came out, my friend messaged me saying there was a fire and they evacuated everyone.

“My car is parked in the car park, so we’re just waiting to get in. They’re saying it’s going to be a three-hour wait.”

Flumes of smoke could be seen streaming from the building’s roof

(PA)

Footage posted on social media showed flames and black smoke coming from one part of a slanted roof of the apartment block.

Further footage showed firefighters on the roof with the flames apparently extinguished.

A large cordon remains in place around the scene, with residents being diverted on longer routes to get to their homes.

Josh Gill, 29, a Co-op team leader from Bromley, said: “I literally live on the doorstep.

“I was in my flat and my mother-in-law came over to pick up my wife’s niece who stayed over last night, and as she came she said about the fire and saw all the fire brigade appear and (I) went to have a look.

80 firefighters were called to the blaze on the 15th floor of the apartment block

(PA)

“Some people were upset and crying whilst others were shocked and confused as to what was going on. The fire brigade are still here and you can see people who live in the flats evacuated in the church.”

“It is scary to see this right on the doorstep as I have a family.”

Rowland Leslie, 63, who lives nearby, said: “Where there is the slant of the building there are balconies and flames were burning ferociously at the start.

“I have been in Bromley for over an hour and where I was it looked like the fire had been put out but in the last 20 minutes it looks like it must have started up again.”

Fire crews from Bromley, Beckenham, Addington, Woodside, Lewisham, Forest Hill, Sidcup and Croydon and surrounding fire stations are working to control the blaze.

The cause of the fire is not known.



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