Blaze rips through east London tower block flat ‘with Grenfell-style cladding’ as 100 firefighters battle flames
- Some 20 fire engines are at the scene near Canary Wharf in east London today
- Crews were called around 9am after eighth, ninth and tenth floors set alight
- Fire chiefs say the cause of the tower block blaze has still yet to be determined
More than a hundred firefighters are battling a blaze at a luxury riverside block of flats in east London that is believed to have the same kind of cladding used on Grenfell Tower.
Emergency crews in some 20 fire engines are at the scene in New Providence Wharf, near Canary Wharf, after the blaze broke out this morning.
London Fire Brigade was called shortly before 9am and has been battling the fire ever since, with parts of the eighth, ninth and tenth floors alight.
The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.
Witnesses reportedly weren’t alerted to the blaze by the fire alarm for more than half an hour, with one resident claiming they only noticed when they woke up to the smell of smoke.
The building is believed to be covered in ACM cladding, the same type used on Grenfell Tower, which went up in flames in 2017.
Two years after the tragedy, which claimed 72 deaths, ministers pledged £200m for the aluminium composite material to be removed from 170 privately-owned towers across the UK.
However, work is understood to have never begun on making the change on site, despite the funding being available for several months.
London Fire Brigade was called shortly before 9am and has been battling the fire ever since, with parts of the eighth, ninth and tenth floors alight
Emergency crews in some 20 fire engines are at the scene in New Providence Wharf, near Canary Wharf, after the blaze broke out this morning
One hundred firefighters are battling an east London tower block fire, believed to have Grenfell-style cladding
The fire broke out across three floors in the 19-storey tower block near Canary Wharf
Some reports suggested the cladding was in fact due to be removed this week, in a project scheduled to last until March next year.
Developer Ballymore had previously said it would begin the work on site in April but it is understood that didn’t take place before the fire.
Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, Apsana Begum, tweeted: ‘I met constituents here again recently – left unsafe for 2yrs+ without reports, surveys.
Meanwhile developer Ballymore continue to build & profit in £ms. @ballymore what *action* are you going to take now?’
The developer told the East London Advertiser earlier this year: ‘To replace elements of a facade under these circumstances is an extensive process.
‘We have a project team in place which has already committed months of work to arrive at a workable and cost-effective solution.’
The project was described as being ‘well underway’ and the company anticipating at the time that work on site would begin around April.
The End Our Cladding Scandal campaign group tweeted: ‘We hope all victims of the fire in New Providence Wharf are okay.
‘Grenfell was almost 4 years ago. How is it acceptable that works on some of the UK’s most dangerous buildings haven’t even begun?’
‘It’s only a matter of time before this happens again.’
The block is part of the New Providence Wharf development, described as ‘a riverside community of more than 1000 luxury homes’.
Estate agents add: ‘Each home in this nine-story tower boasts an unparalleled view of some of the Docklands most celebrated landmarks including Canary Wharf and the O2.’
Ballymore has been approached for further comment.