Lewisham fire: Firefighters scramble to tower block after reports of ‘explosions’

Firefighters have rushed to the scene of a flat fire after flames were witnessed rising out of a tower block following a series of ‘explosions.’

Around 60 people evacuated their properties before firefighters arrived at the scene at Warner House on the Orchard Estate in Lewisham early on Tuesday.

Seventy firefighters from London Fire Brigade (LFB) crews based across the capital were called to tackle the fire after the first reports were received at 01.53am.

The fire was under control by 02.53am.

While some evacuated, other residents in areas not immediately affected remained inside their flats. Reports online described three explosions being heard in ‘short succession’

LFB said the blaze began in a communal area on the sixth floor of the building. Firefighters rescued a man and a woman by using a nine-metre ladder.

A statement read: “Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters tackled a flat fire on Russett Way in Lewisham.”

“Part of a communal lobby on the sixth floor was alight. Firefighters led a man and a woman to safety from scaffolding on the building via a 9-metre ladder.

“Around 60 residents left the property before the Brigade arrived, whilst others remained in their unaffected flats.

“The Brigade’s 999 Control Officers took 12 calls to the blaze.”

“The Brigade was called at 0153 and the fire was under control by 0250. Fire crews from Greenwich, Lewisham, Deptford, Lee Green, New Cross and surrounding fire stations attended the scene.

Investigations continue into the cause of the fire.

A tweet from the fire service asked people to “avoid the area” while they work to make the scene safe.

Official advice on Gov.uk says those living in blocks of flats should ask their landlord for details of their building’s evacuation plan.