Three months after being brought into service, the UK’s tallest aerial ladder – belonging to the London Fire Brigade – has responded to a large fire in an apartment/office block in Whitechapel, E1.
At around 15:50 hours today, 7th March, twenty fire engines and around 125 firefighters were mobilised to the fire on Whitechapel High Street.
It is believed that the fire started on the 17th floor of a 21-storey building.
The brigade’s brand new 64-metre ladder rushed to the scene as 999 control room staff took more than 50 999 calls to the blaze.
The LFB is the first fire service in the UK to have a 64-metre Turntable Ladder, which is equivalent to the highest ladder in service across Europe.
The new ladder is one of three new 64m appliances, strategically placed across London at Dagenham, Old Kent Road and Wimbledon fire stations.
These new appliances have three primary purposes – to act as a water tower, a rescue tower and an observational tower.
In the first instance, firefighters will still tackle a high-rise fire from inside a building and try to rescue people using internal fire escape routes.
However, the 64-metre appliances provide an option – in rare cases – to rescue people from a window or balcony on higher floors and can also pump water to a greater height.
The ladder that has responded to the fire in Whitechapel has been used to get water onto the building from the outside.
So far, there have been no reports of any injuries at the fire in E1.
The Brigade was called at 1553. Fire crews from Whitechapel, Shoreditch, Dowgate, Bethnal Green, Dockhead, Old Kent Road, Islington and surrounding fire stations are at the scene
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