Bromley fire: 80 firefighters battle blaze at 17-storey tower block

·3 min read
Bromley fire
Bromley fire

About 120 people were evacuated due to a fire at a 19-storey block of flats in south-east London.

There were no injuries reported at the blaze in St Mark's Square, Bromley, which was tackled by 15 fire engines and about 100 firefighters, London Fire Brigade (LFB) said.

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

Firefighters were called at 11.58am and were still at the scene late on Sunday afternoon.

Station Commander Colin Digby at the scene, said: "Crews are making steady progress. This is going to be a protracted incident and we expect our crews to be on scene for several hours to come."

Firefighters at the scene
Firefighters at the scene

The brigade's 999 control centre received 88 calls alerting them to the blaze.

Fire crews have come from Bromley, Beckenham, Addington, Woodside, Lewisham, Forest Hill, Sidcup and Croydon and surrounding fire stations.

The cause of the fire is not known.

Footage posted on social media showed flames and black smoke coming from one part of a slanted roof. Further footage showed firefighters on the roof with the flames apparently extinguished.

Bystanders watch as smoke billows from the tower block
Bystanders watch as smoke billows from the tower block

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.

"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."

'Ferocious'

A man living near the tower said he saw flames burning "ferociously" on the building.

Rowland Leslie, 63, said: "I was just walking down to come to Bromley and I don't think it had started not long before that because the fire engines were just coming.

"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."

The blaze at a 17-storey block of flats in St Mark's Square
The blaze at a 17-storey block of flats in St Mark's Square

A large cordon remained in place around the scene of the fire on Sunday afternoon, with residents being diverted on longer routes to get to their homes.

Guests at a nearby Premier Inn were evacuated and told they are likely to have to wait several hours to get back inside.

One guest, Jerome Smith, 22, 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."

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