100 firefighters battle blaze at London flats
An investigation has been launched after fire caused extensive damage to a block of flats in east London, sparking new fears of a Grenfell-style tragedy.
Twenty flats were destroyed and a further 10 were damaged by heat and smoke.
One man and a woman were treated for smoke inhalation.
The blaze, which was brought under control after three hours, affected the ground floor to the sixth floor of the building in Barking.
Fifteen fire engines and around 100 firefighters were called to the flats at De Pass Gardens at 3.31pm yesterday as people were evacuated from their homes. The blaze was under control by 6.04pm.
Fire crews from Barking, Dagenham, East Ham and surrounding fire stations were at the scene.
Roads were closed to the public as emergency services worked to put out the fire.
The block of flats is reportedly a new-build and appears to be partially constructed with wooden pillars.
Some of the flats appear to have balconies and decking made of wood. It is not yet clear what caused the outbreak.
An ambulance service spokesman said: "We were called at 3.32pm today to a fire in De Pass Gardens.
"We sent two ambulance crews, two solo responders and our Hazardous Area Response Team."
Station manager Andy Maloney said: "Crews worked really hard to put the fire out."
The blaze comes two years after the inferno at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington killed 72 people and left many more homeless.
Grenfell United, an organisation that supports those affected by the tragedy, tweeted last night: "Thoughts and prayers with everyone affected by Barking fire. We hope everyone is safe. So difficult to see this."
A spokesman for the L&Q Group, which oversaw the regeneration project in east London, said: "This property was built by a private company and is now owned by a private landlord.
"As we have a large presence in the area, we have arranged for staff to open our local office so we can assist residents."