A major fire today broke out at a new under-construction block of flats in London after blazes reportedly began from their solar panels. At least 80 firefighters and 12 fire engines were pressed into service to tackle the fire. London Fire Brigade said nobody was inside the building at the time of the incident. The incident comes days after a devastating fire gutted Grenfell Tower, a 24-storey residential building in west London on June 14, killing at least 80 people.
Officials said that flames engulfed the roof of the Bow Wharf building, close to Bethnal Green and Mile End area of the city. The block is a brand new “residential waterside development” where five houses and 19 apartments are set to sell for as much as one million pound (USD 1.30 million) each. The exact cause behind the incident remains unknown.
An eyewitness wrote on Twitter: “Brand new building not finished so no one in it. But it is caught inside now. Whole thing going to go up. Looks like solar panels caught alight”. The entire development comprises 24 units in total, including some affordable housing.
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Construction and development firm Rooff Limited and H20Urban are joint venture partners and contractors on the half-acre site at the junction of the Regents and Hereford Union canals in east London. Work on the development started in late 2015 and is due to be completed this year. In the Grenfell tower incident, cheap cladding used on the exterior of the building was blamed for the rapid spread of the fire and hundreds of other tower blocks around the UK have since failed fire safety tests on their cladding.