Four-storey block evacuated due to large roof fire

On 5 June 2024, crews from London Fire Brigade (LFB) were alerted to a major fire at a four-storey building in Hackney that tore through the roof.

After receiving over 35 calls, 15 fire appliances and 100 firefighters were dispatched to the scene, with crews from Homerton, Stoke Newington, Bethnal Green, Walthamstow, and surrounding fire stations in attendance.

Keeley Foster, Assistant Commissioner for the LFB, said: "Firefighters arrived on scene within four minutes of the first emergency call and were faced with a large and developing fire mostly affecting the roof of a four-storey block of flats and maisonettes.”

With the blaze understood to have started around 5 pm, eyewitnesses told reporters of huge flames coming from the roof of the building, with thick plumes of smoke surrounding the area. One local told The Standard: “Residents were banging to get their neighbours out. Loads of people were running out and shouting. I saw at least 20 people come out and go back in. I don’t think the people inside realised how high the flames were.”

Control Officers were able to analyse footage streamed from a member of the public to mobilise additional resources, including an aerial ladder.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus focused their efforts on tackling the fire in the roof of the property. Two of our 32-metre turntable ladders were deployed at the scene to fight the fire from above and provide the Incident Commander with an increased situational awareness of the fire. Although significant damage has been sustained to the building’s roof, firefighters’ hard and professional work has helped restrict the amount of damage caused to flats within the block, though some properties have sustained some fire and smoke damage,” Keeley said.

As reported by i news, in addition to the roof, two flats on the second and third floors were also damaged. 

At around 9 pm, LFB confirmed that the fire had been brought under control, but firefighters remained throughout the night to dampen down the site. Keeley confirmed that they were still there in the morning to monitor any further hotspots.

While the London Ambulance Service treated one person at the scene for minor smoke inhalation, no other injuries were reported. Around 50 residents were affected by the incident and were relocated to a nearby church.

Our firefighters and officers provided support to them during what was undoubtedly a difficult situation for them. They also safely escorted some residents to collect any vital possessions and medication. We also liaised with the local authority and housing association to support residents. Local firefighters, officers, and our Community Engagement team are available to provide support to the local community over the coming days,” Keeley added.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, and the Brigade’s Fire Investigation Team and scientific advisors have been at the scene to try and establish a cause for the fire.


(Photograph by London Fire Brigade)