London fire: Fire on the 17th floor of a building in Whitechapel

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Crews from Old Kent Road, Lambeth, Soho, Whitechapel and surrounding fire stations are at the scene. Photo / @JamieLFC_1892 via Twitter

A fire has broken out in a high-rise building in the London suburb of Whitechapel.

Sky News reports that 15 engines and 100 firefighters have been dispatched to the scene in Whitechapel High St.

There were no initial reports of injuries, although footage shows widespread fire.

“Our screeners responded to over 50 fire calls,” said the London Fire Brigade.

Witnesses described large panes of glass falling to the ground, orange flames, smoke billowing from windows and “awful scenes”.

At the foot of the building, commercial premises under the arches of the railway tracks are said to be on fire and four cars and a telephone box are also said to be on fire.

London firefighters said a 64-metre ladder, believed to be the tallest in Europe, had also been dispatched to the scene.

Emergency services were urging people to avoid the area near Elephant and Castle station.

In 2017, a high-rise fire broke out at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower building in North Kensington, west London, killing 72 people.

The London Ambulance Service reported that they were also called out for the incident.

Firefighters at the top of the 64m ladder to access the fire from outside the building.  Photo/London Fire Brigade, via Twitter
Firefighters at the top of the 64m ladder to access the fire from outside the building. Photo/London Fire Brigade, via Twitter

“We are responding to a fire on Whitechapel High Street with our colleagues from the emergency services.

“If you are in the area, try to stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed.”

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