A tall storey – heat is on over city skyscraper
IT seemed like a good idea at the time, a towering skyscraper reaching for the heavens, what could possibly go wrong?
The new building, - originally dubbed the 'Walkie-Talkie' because of its box shape - is allegedly causing fires to start because of the intensity with which it reflects the sun's rays, according to traders.
The half-finished 37-storey tower at 20 Fenchurch Street in central London has been rechristened the 'Walkie Scorchie' due to its distinctive shape and apparent ability to bounce heat from the sun on to buildings in the next street.
Angry business owners in Eastcheap say the £200m project has blistered paintwork, caused tiles to smash and singe fabric. A motorist has also said the intense heat melted part of his Jaguar.
Developers described the problem as "a phenomenon" and said they were "looking into the matter as a priority". Ali Akay, of Re Style barber's, said the position of the sun at a certain time of the day caused a searing bolt of sunlight to start a small fire and burn a hole in his firm's doormat.
"We were working and just saw the smoke coming out of the carpet," he said. "We tried to cut the fire down, there were customers in at the time and they were obviously not happy."