Fire in Barking

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About 100 firefighters were called to De Pass Gardens in Barking

A fire has engulfed a block of flats in east London, forcing people to evacuate their homes as it spread over six floors.

The blaze took hold in De Pass Gardens, Barking, at about 15:30 BST, London Fire Brigade said.

About 100 firefighters worked for more than two hours to subdue the fire, which was extinguished at 18:00. The cause is being investigated.

London Ambulance Service said there were no reports of any injuries.

‘We ran out’

Resident Mihaela Gheorghe said she had “raised several issues” about the safety of wooden balconies on the blocks of flats.

She added: “I was in my fourth-floor flat when the fire started. We ran out. The fire brigade came but they found it hard to find a water supply at first.”

“We said that one day a fire is going to happen.

“We raised several issues to the builder, the maintenance companies and the council about the safety of having all these wooden balconies.”

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Mihaela Gheorghe

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Residents claim they had raised concerns about the safety of the building

Mukhtar Raja, who lives nearby, said he saw flames when he looked out of his window.

“The heat was unbearable and it was spreading so fast. I went outside and filmed the footage with my phone.

“The fact it was a tall building and the speed at which the fire was spreading was scary.”

People affected by the fire have been told to “take rest” at the Thames View Community Centre – about a mile away from the scene.

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Firefighters were alerted at about 15:30 BST

Crews from Barking, Dagenham, East Ham and other surrounding fire stations attended.

London Fire Brigade’s Andy Maloney said: “Crews worked really hard at the scene to bring the fire under control.”

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The Met Police said officers were helping with “a major incident”

The London Ambulance Service said it was called out shortly after the fire began, but said “there are no reports of any injuries at the moment”.

A spokesperson added: “We sent two ambulance crews, two solo responders, our hazardous area response team and London’s Air Ambulance.”

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