'I was so scared': Tower block residents speak about Whitechapel fire

Emergency Service attend a fire which has broken out in a block of flats in east London. London Fire

The fire broke out at The Relay Building in Whitechapel High Street - Credit: PA

Residents have spoken of their experiences after a fire at a Whitechapel tower block.

Two people were taken to hospital after the blaze broke out in The Relay Building, next to Aldgate East Tube station, yesterday afternoon (March 7).

Panes of glass fell 17 storeys to the street below as the fire raged and surrounding streets were closed.

Emergency Service attend a fire which has broken out in a block of flats in east London. London Fire

Fire crews used a 64 metre high ladder to help tackle the blaze - Credit: PA

Mustaque Ahmed, who lives in the building with his family, said he found out a fire had broken out when a neighbour messaged him.

He said: “When I brought my child back from school I was making dinner for him.

"My neighbour sent me a message in the [WhatsApp] group – it said we had to come out of the flat because there was a fire. 

“I went to the front and saw the huge flames and then we went to a hotel until we were allowed back in.

"None of the fire alarms went off. The fire brigade was down here quickly – I have to give them applause because they were amazing."

Mustaque Ahmed

One of the block's residents Mustaque Ahmed praised firefighters for their response - Credit: Alastair Lockhart LDR

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Helen Nteneta, another resident, said she had been frightened by the fire.

She added: “I was so scared last night when I went to bed around 2am [after the fire]. I was cooking in the kitchen after work and I was on the phone to my sister when I saw something was going on downstairs. 

“I knocked on my neighbours door and said ‘there’s a fire, get out’ – I called everyone."

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it was still working to find out what had caused the fire.

A spokesperson added: “The investigation into the cause and all aspects of the fire is ongoing.

“As with all instances, we will look at fire safety arrangements for the building as part of our investigation.

"The building had a stay-put policy in place, so we wouldn’t expect it to have communal alarms unless there was a change to the policy, as alarms sounding could initiate evacuation and send people into the communal areas.”

Twenty fire engines and 125 firefighters attended the blaze, which was brought under control just after 7pm.

One woman was rescued from the 17th floor by fire crews.