“Explosions and shattering glass” at Elephant and Castle blaze above GP surgery

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Four fire engines and 25 firefighters were need to tackled the 4pm fire

Shocked onlookers flinched as “explosions” came from a flat fire which caused “thick, black” smoke to billow across Elephant and Castle on Sunday August 21.

The fire on Princess Street above the GP surgery damaged most of a third-floor property and four fire engines and 25 firefighters were needed to tackle it.

London Fire Brigade was alerted to the blaze at 4.22pm and had brought the fire under control by 5.23pm. It received 23 calls about the incident.

Jack Clarke, 24, was walking back home after a day’s shopping on Oxford Street when he saw the “thick, black smoke”. 

“There was a lot of smoke coming from the window of the flat and for the first five or ten minutes there were explosions and glass exploding out of the window onto the pavement and smashing and shattering,” he said.

“It was relatively scary. The smoke grew bigger and then the fire engines turned up. I think a lot of people watching were residents from the row of terraced houses that were opposite and lots of people were shocked and worried as stuff started flying out of the windows,” he added.

Jack believes the explosions may have been the sound of glass breaking in the heat although London Fire Brigade has not confirmed this.

Reacting on social media, Twitter user Hayden wrote: “Just round the corner from me, hope everyone’s safe.”

Twitter user Kaydien tweeted: “Near my place of work I hope everyone is okay.”

Fire crews from Old Kent Road, Peckham, Dowgate and Dockhead fire stations attended the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Brigade and the Metropolitan Police Service.

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