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Eleven people trapped during fire at block of flats in Whitechapel

PUBLISHED: 11:47 10 May 2013 | UPDATED: 11:47 10 May 2013

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Eleven people, including children, were rescued by firefighters from a blaze at block of flats in Whitechapel in the early hours of this morning.

Some of them were trapped inside flats and on the roof and balconies, as heavy smoke was billowing up the stairs and through the building, when fire crews arrived at the building on New Road.

Watch Manager Colin Johnson from Dowgate Fire Station, in the City, said: “When we arrived there were six men on a first floor flat roof, a family with two young children, including a four month old baby, stuck in a flat on the second floor, and a woman on a balcony on the third floor.

“Firefighters from Whitechapel fire station tackled the fire and once we had ventilated the building and made it safe, we led all of the residents outside to safety.”

The London Fire Brigade’s 999 control officers offered safety advice over the phone to the woman who was trapped on her balcony, in order to calm her down and keep her safe until firefighters were able to rescue her. No one was injured, according to a spokeswoman for the Brigade.

The fire caused some damage to the ground floor lobby area of the flats. A small part of the first floor was also damaged.

The Brigade was called at 04.55am and the fire was under control by 05.43am. Two fire engines from Whitechapel and Dowgate fire stations and police were at the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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