Two major fires broke out at separate high-rise blocks this morning on the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower blaze.
More than 150 people escaped a burning 20-storey block of flats in Lewisham, South East London, after a blaze took hold of the 13th floor shortly after 4am today.
However, many complained they had to be woken by neighbours and other residents across the street shouting ‘fire, fire’ because the alarms didn’t sound.
Some 400 miles north and four hours later in Glasgow, five people were rescued after a blaze broke out in a block of flats, with smoke coming from the 14th floor.
More than ten fire crews, police and other emergency services were sent to the scene in the Gorbals area after the fire broke out in a kitchen at about 8am.
Crews were called to a fire on the 13th floor of the 20-storey block in Lewisham this morning
A woman carries her baby child back into the building in Lewisham as two men follow behind
Residents return to their homes today after the fire was put out by London Fire Brigade crews
Residents are pictured returning to their homes following the blaze in South East London
Some residents in Lewisham said they had to rely on neighbours to alert them to the danger
In London, firefighters said around 150 people had left the building before crews arrived at about 4.15am today – and a sprinkler system ‘suppressed’ the blaze.
But residents were only woken by shouting from across the road, and started running down the stairs – banging on doors as they descended to wake up others.
Flats in the block, which is called Roma Corte and has a 24-hour concierge service, have sold for up to £500,000 over the past three years since it was built.
Christoph Mayr, 32, said: ‘We’re on the top floor and woke up because there was shouting outside, so went out on the balcony, and people in the building opposite were screaming, ‘fire, fire’.
‘We didn’t see anything, but they started waving and pointing and shouted, ‘You. It’s in your block, get out of the building’. We started running down the stairs and banged on doors as we were going down.’
The artist manager, who has lived in the building for three years, said there was smoke on one of the floors. ‘Everyone was pretty shocked there was no alarms,’ he said. ‘It got more real when we were in the staircase and it was pretty warm.’
Five people have been rescued after a fire broke out in a high-rise block of flats in Glasgow
More than ten fire crews, police and other emergency services went to the scene in Glasgow
Five people were rescued from the building in Glasgow today and the fire was contained
Smoke came from the 14th floor of the building in the Gorbals area of Glasgow this morning
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze took hold in ‘the kitchen of the 14th floor’
The blaze broke out on the 14th floor of the tower block in the Gorbells area of Glasgow today
Parents were bringing their children inside wrapped in blankets as the last of the residents were allowed back to their homes at around 8am.
Lewisham tower block where properties sold for up to £500,000
The fire took hold of Roma Corte, a tower block that has seen properties sell for up to £500,000 over the past three years since it was built.
The flats, which have been billed as ‘superb’, ‘luxurious’ and ‘stylish’ by estate agents, are located in the Renaissance development near Lewisham train and DLR station.
Amenities for residents include a 24-hour concierge, community leisure centre, landscaped gardens and underground bike storage.
The block is part of a regeneration of the town centre, with the Renaissance development made up 788 homes, including 146 affordable properties.
Those living in the tower include young professionals who benefit from quick journeys to Canary Wharf and Bank.
A major safety failure in the Grenfell blaze one year ago was found to be the flammable aluminium and polyethylene cladding installed on the tower’s facade during a recent renovation.
More than 300 towers around Britain have similar combustible cladding. The cladding on three buildings in the Lewisham area failed government fire-safety tests last summer, but Roma Corte was not one of them.
Mr Mayr said residents are worried about the building’s fire safety, which he had considered in the light of the Grenfell Tower disaster before moving in.
‘It’s a new building and seemed to have all sorts of precautions, including sprinklers, no cladding… but when the alarms don’t go off of course you wonder what else is not working.’
Another resident, Caleb Parker, 40, who lives on the 10th floor, said: ‘I was sleeping and someone banged on the door and I got up and didn’t know what it was.
‘I heard someone else banging on the door saying, ‘fire, get out’. I wasn’t sure what to expect and when I saw the fire I thought it could be really bad.’
Mr Parker, who is originally from the US, added: ‘Up to now I felt safe. I don’t know that I feel unsafe, but I’m concerned, certainly on the one-year anniversary of Grenfell.’
Alix Mabon, 25, who lives on the fourth floor of Roma Corte, was one of the first people out of the building.
She praised the bravery of three teenagers who alerted her to the fire before running through the building knocking on doors.
‘I slept with the balcony door open,’ the civil servant said. ‘I just heard people screaming and shouting and thought it was an argument on the street, but it just got louder and louder.
‘When I came out three teenagers were with the concierge shouting, ‘fire, fire. Get out’. The first thought that came into my head was, ‘Oh my God, it’s Grenfell. We’re going to be the next Grenfell’.’
Ms Mabon said there was no official advice to evacuate and wants a full building inspection and investigation.
London Fire Brigade said around 150 people left the building before firefighters arrived
Residents of the block of flats in South East London have complained that there was no alarm
The cause of the Lewisham fire is under investigation, according to the London Fire Brigade
London Fire Brigade arrived at about 4.15am and said a sprinkler system ‘suppressed’ the fire
‘I did think about staying, but obviously Grenfell was in the back of my mind, so I thought I have got to get out,’ she said.
‘I had no idea where the fire was. It could have been right next door.’
Ms Mabon said it was a good thing that the fire was contained in one flat, but added: ‘Of course I worry when there’s no alarm. Apparently there’s supposed to be a central button the concierge can press.
‘But nothing was pressed, nothing happened. The only people running up the stairs were those teenagers. There were also people who slept the whole way through it. Thank God it was contained.’
Earlier, Yusif Ali tweeted: ‘Fire in Roma Corte building, Lewisham and no fire alarm was set off. Instead get woken up to the sound of people screaming there was a fire. Horrible.’
And Nick Cheuk added: ‘Police just told us that no one has been injured and that the fire was contained to just the one flat.’
Crews from Deptford, New Cross and Lewisham were among the 58 firefighters at the scene, while police and ambulance staff were also present.
Paramedics and police were also at the scene following the fire in London early this morning
Firefighters allow people back into their homes following the fire in Lewisham this morning
The Metropolitan Police, London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade all attended
The London Fire Brigade is now investigating the cause of the fire in Lewisham this morning
There were 58 firefighters at the scene in London, while police and paramedics were also there
Firefighters said they received 16 calls about the blaze, which was under control by 5.23am. The cause of the fire is under investigation, LFB added.
Paramedics and police were also at the scene. Pictures posted by the London Ambulance Service showed a number of emergency vehicles outside the block.
The A20 was partially closed while emergency crews were at the scene.
In Glasgow, the city council’s leader Susan Aitken praised firefighters for their work and said five people had been rescued with the fire contained.
She tweeted: ‘I’ve had an update from @fire-scot. It looks like this fire has been contained quickly and five people have been rescued.
‘Thanks again to our firefighters for their swift and effective work.’
Eliot Brown, 19, was evacuated from his flat on the 13th floor. He said: ‘I woke up and opened my eyes and saw smoke rising past the window.
Firefighters in London received 16 calls about the blaze, which was under control by 5.23am
‘I thought it was mist at first and the after that I heard a knock on the door and it was someone shouting to get out.’
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘Operations Control mobilised a number of resources to the scene at Commercial Court, where a fire has taken hold within the kitchen of the 14th floor property. Crews presently remain at the scene.’
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: ‘As local MSP for the Gorbals, I’m in close contact with @NewGorbalsHA who are on site.
‘The @scotfire-glasgo response is ongoing. I am receiving updates and will offer all possible assistance to any constituents affected.’
Today marks 12 months since a small kitchen fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, West London, took hold of the block – killing 72 people.
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