More than 150 people escaped a burning London high-rise this morning after a fire broke out on the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower inferno.
The blaze took hold of the 13th floor in the early hours, forcing residents to flee the 20-storey block of flats in Lewisham, South East London.
However, many complained they had to be woken by neighbours and other residents across the street shouting ‘fire, fire’ because the alarms didn’t sound.
Firefighters said around 150 people had left the building before crews arrived at about 4.15am today – and a sprinkler system ‘suppressed’ the blaze.
But residents were only woken by shouting from across the road, and started running down the stairs – banging on doors as they descended to wake up others.
Crews were called to a fire on the 13th floor of the 20-storey block in Lewisham this morning
Residents return to their homes today after the fire was put out by London Fire Brigade crews
Residents are pictured returning to their homes following the blaze in South East London
Some residents complained that they had to rely on neighbours to alert them to the danger
Christoph Mayr, 32, said: ‘We’re on the top floor and woke up because there was shouting outside, so went out on the balcony, and people in the building opposite were screaming, ‘fire, fire’.
‘We didn’t see anything, but they started waving and pointing and shouted, ‘You. It’s in your block, get out of the building’.
‘We started running down the stairs and banged on doors as we were going down.’
The artist manager, who has lived in the building for three years, said there was smoke on one of the floors.
‘Everyone was pretty shocked there was no alarms,’ he said. ‘It got more real when we were in the staircase and it was pretty warm.’
Parents were bringing their children inside wrapped in blankets as the last of the residents were allowed back to their homes at around 8am.
Mr Mayr said residents are worried about the building’s fire safety, which he had considered in the light of the Grenfell Tower disaster before moving in.
‘It’s a new building and seemed to have all sorts of precautions, including sprinklers, no cladding… but when the alarms don’t go off of course you wonder what else is not working.’
London Fire Brigade said around 150 people left the building before firefighters arrived
Residents of the block of flats in South East London have complained that there was no alarm
The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to the London Fire Brigade
London Fire Brigade arrived at about 4.15am and said a sprinkler system ‘suppressed’ the fire
Another resident, Caleb Parker, 40, who lives on the 10th floor, said: ‘I was sleeping and someone banged on the door and I got up and didn’t know what it was.
‘I heard someone else banging on the door saying, ‘fire, get out’. I wasn’t sure what to expect and when I saw the fire I thought it could be really bad.’
People in the building opposite were screaming, ‘fire, fire’
Mr Parker, who is originally from the US, added: ‘Up to now I felt safe. I don’t know that I feel unsafe, but I’m concerned, certainly on the one-year anniversary of Grenfell.’
Alix Mabon, 25, who lives on the fourth floor of Roma Corte, was one of the first people out of the building.
She praised the bravery of three teenagers who alerted her to the fire before running through the building knocking on doors.
‘I slept with the balcony door open,’ the civil servant said. ‘I just heard people screaming and shouting and thought it was an argument on the street, but it just got louder and louder.
‘When I came out three teenagers were with the concierge shouting, ‘fire, fire. Get out’. The first thought that came into my head was, ‘Oh my God, it’s Grenfell. We’re going to be the next Grenfell’.’
Ms Mabon said there was no official advice to evacuat