Firefighters tackle blaze at 19-storey London tower block

A firefighter works at a damaged residential building in East London, Britain, May 7, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) -Firefighters in London were tackling a blaze at a 19-storey block of flats in the east of the city on Friday, with smoke emerging from parts of the 8th, 9th and 10th floors and ambulances treating people in the area.

A Reuters witness said by 1000 GMT the fire appeared to be out. Around 100 firefighters had been working on the building while paramedics and police also attended the scene.

The London Ambulance Service said it had dispatched ambulance crews, clinical team managers and support vehicles to the area.

"They've treated a number of people, and remain at the scene, working with other emergency services," they said.

The fire in the east of the city near the Canary Wharf financial district comes almost four years after 72 people died when their Grenfell Tower home in West London turned into an inferno, aided by dangerous combustible cladding.

The cladding used on the block was identified as central to the rapid spread of the fire, and has since been found on buildings across the country, necessitating expensive removal or round-the-clock fire watches.

Just this year the government set out how it would help fund the removal of the cladding from high-rise residential buildings.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; writing by Kate Holton; editing by Sarah Young)

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