Hot works accident causes London high-rise fire

Emergency services responded to a serious fire at a 22-storey residential block in Spitalfields on 16 June 2024 after receiving 25 separate calls.

Crews from Shoreditch, Dowgate, Euston, and surrounding fire stations attended the incident, with London Fire Brigade (LFB) dispatching a total of eight fire appliances and 60 firefighters to tackle the blaze.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus led one woman to safety, and the London Ambulance Service treated a further four people at the scene. All five people were taken to hospital as a precaution.

LFB confirmed that half of a three-roomed flat, located on the third floor of the 22-storey building, and part of a flat roof had been damaged by the fire. A balcony was also destroyed. Crews used 32-metre turntable ladders as an ‘observation tower’ to help fight the fire from above.

Images taken of the scene show large flames and plumes of smoke billowing from the tower block, with a spokesperson for LFB saying: “There are significant road closures between Commercial Street and Aldgate High Street which are impacting the surrounding area. People are advised to continue to avoid the area if they can.”

One eyewitness told the Daily Mail that there had been many firefighters on the scene to tackle the blaze and “thankfully they caught it before it managed to spread”.

Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control within an hour after the first call was made. In an update, LFB revealed that the fire was believed to be accidental, caused by “hot works related to repairs being carried out”.  


(Photograph by London Fire Brigade)