About 100 firefighters are dealing with a large fire at a block of flats in east London.
The blaze took hold from the ground floor to the sixth floor of the flats in De Pass Gardens, Barking, at about 15:30 BST, forcing residents to evacuate.
The Met Police said it was helping to deal with “a major incident”.
There are no reports of any injuries and the cause of the fire is not yet known.
Nearby flats have also been evacuated and the Met has put road closures in place.
‘We ran out’
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.”
Residents who have been affected by the fire have been told to “take rest” at the Thames View Community Centre – about a mile away from the scene.
Pictures on social media showed part of the building engulfed in flames and smoke billowing into the air.
Crews from Barking, Dagenham East Ham and other surrounding fire stations are at the scene.
London Fire Brigade’s Andy Maloney said: “Crews are continuing to work really hard at the scene to bring the fire under control.”
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.
“We have a tactical commander and our command support vehicle at the scene.”
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