More than 100 firefighters called to blaze on 17th floor as debris seen falling from the side of Sigma Seifert building

Fire investigators were today trying to establish the cause of a major fire at a block of flats and offices above a Tube station on the edge of the City of London designed by Sigma Seifert Architects.

Around 70 people were evacuated after the blaze broke out yesterday afternoon in a flat on the 17th floor of the 2014 Relay Building which stands on the corner of Whitechapel High Street above Aldgate East Tube.

London Fire Brigade said 20 fire engines and more than 125 firefighters attended as flames spread. They received more than 50 emergency calls from the public. Footage posted on social media showed flames burning fiercely from the 17th floor.

Burning debris could also be seen falling to the ground from the side of the 22-storey building on to the street below.

The fire brigade said a three-roomed flat on the 17th floor of the building was destroyed and part of another three-roomed flat on the 18th floor was also damaged by the blaze. Half of an external 19th floor balcony was also damaged by the fire.

LFB used a 64m ladder, which it said was the tallest in Europe, to get water on to the building from the outside.

One eye witness tweeted: “Huge fire in Aldgate, huge glass panels falling 100s of metres to the ground, awful scenes.”

Now known as the Relay Building, the block was previously called One Commercial Street. It contains 207 flats plus commercial space.

It was designed for Redrow London by architect Sigma Seifert and built by John Sisk & Son in 2014. According to the BBC, property developer Hondo Enterprises sold the building in 2018.

Redrow and Sisk have been contacted for comment.