Families evacuated as fire breaks out at 76-storey Canary Wharf skyscraper
- Credit: Yannick Gay
Emergency crews were called out to one of London’s tallest residential skyscrapers at Canary Wharf when fire broke out.
They arrived at the 76-storey Landmark Pinnacle tower in Marsh Wall and had to make their way up to a flat on the 37th floor.
A corridor filled with smoke soon after 2pm which was coming from one of the apartments.
"There was smoke everywhere," a eye-witness living on the 37th floor told the East London Advertiser.
"We banged on the door of the flat where the fire was, but got no answer. We were quite worried."
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The fire was caused by a lighted candle left unattended, according to the London Fire Brigade.
Furnishings in one of the rooms were damaged, but the flames were put out by the tower block's automatic sprinkler system.
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"The sprinklers worked well," the resident added. "They're high-tech and well designed with the building.
"But there was confusion. No-one told us what was happening and we didn't know what precautions to take when the fire started."
He was concerned about fire brigade escape ladders not being able to reach above the ninth or 10th floors, having seen reports in the Advertiser last month that Tower Hamlets Council was to spend £1million to provide a 64m platform ladder for the fire brigade.
Those evacuated from the 37th floor were soon allowed back after the fire was under control in 25 minutes. There were no injuries.
Crews had been mobilised from Poplar, Shadwell, Bethnal Green and Plaistow fire-stations.
Pinnacle Landmark is one of several skyscrapers along Marsh Wall and Westferry Road but London Fire Brigade has three tall escape ladders which would only extend to the ninth floor — nothing higher.
New turntable ladders that can reach 200ft come into service later this year, but none are being stationed near Canary Wharf or the Isle of Dogs which has the highest ratio of tower blocks per square mile than anywhere in Europe. The nearest would be Old Kent Road, 20 minutes away.
So Tower Hamlets Council has stepped in to pay for another tall ladder that can reach higher, but won't be ready for at least two years.