Barking fire – Woman's horrifying screams as she finds flat block in flames as wellwishers raise thousands for victims

THIS is the moment a woman screams in horror as she finds a block of flats in flames.

Devastated witness Guldana Hassan can be heard unleashing a blood-curdling scream, shouting "oh no" as the blaze engulfs the luxury flats and families run for their lives.

Twenty luxury flats were destroyed and ten more damaged as the blaze took hold of the riverside wood-clad flats in Barking yesterday.

And in horrifying footage, the woman can be heard screaming "oh my God" as the flames take hold, later sharing the video saying "our homes – still in shock".

London Fire Brigade today launched an investigation into what caused the blaze – as locals revealed they had raised concerns about cladding two years ago but had been assured it was safe.

It comes just days before the two-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy which left 72 people dead after a blaze spread through flammable external cladding on June 14, 2017.

Well-wishers have already raised thousands of pounds for those who lost their homes in yesterday's blaze.

Among the residents are paramedics Luke, 26, and his fiancee Miriam, 28, who lost their home, and Miriam's bridesmaids dresses – with the September ceremony now possibly facing cancellation.

Luke had been on his way home with the couple's daughter after the youngster had undergone heart surgery at Great Ormond Street when he found out the family home was on fire – with everything "obliterated".

Luke said: "I was on my way home from hospital with my little girl.

"My missus was screaming saying, 'The house is on fire'."

Miriam said she had heard "cracking and popping" as the fire broke out on Sunday afternoon, saying: "I went to the balcony door and looked out to my left.

"There was massive flames. The balcony next to us was on fire completely.

"I grabbed my dog and ran out the door."

I went to the balcony door and looked out to my left. There was massive flames. The balcony next to us was on fire completely.

The couple said initial calls to firefighters had suggested people were having a barbecue.

Thousands of pounds have since been raised for the couple as they face a daunting next few months to rebuild their lives.

Residents said the fire alarm and sprinklers in the East London block, which included two-bedroom flats selling for about £300,000, had not been working for four months before yesterday's blaze.

Sonia Sahata and her husband, Rav, both 33, told The Times they had no idea they were in danger until a neighbour started to bang on their door to tell them to flee with their children, aged just four and 15 months.

Accounts administrator Sonia said: "When we got out I looked back and our flat was already on fire.

"There was no alarm and the sprinklers did not work."

London Assembly member Andrew Boff also tweeted: "I was in this building trying to get people out.

"Questions to London Fire: Did the absence of a fire alarm hamper evacuation? I heard no fire alarms."


Dad-of-two Carl, 40, said he had just ten seconds to grab his children nd run.

He said: "Apparently there was a flat that started a barbecue, the barbecue was on a carpet and there was a mattress on a wall.

"The barbecue fell over, I don't know how, the barbecue fell on to the carpet and caught alight."
Local Subramaniyan claimed the fire had engulfed the building in about three minutes.

The dad of two told LBC: "We have been telling the managing agencies that this wooden cladding isn't safe – nothing has been done.

"We warned them."

He said he had been inside the building, saying he could still the smoke.

He added: "I've been angry since last year or so about how we have been treated.

"We are helpless and we need this to be completely exposed. We need justice."

Despite locals saying the catastrophic blaze ripped through the building in seconds, thankfully there were no fatalities.

A man and a woman were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

Dramatic photos showed the flames engulfing the complex shortly after 3.30pm on Sunday.

Thick black smoke was seen billowing into the air across the capital's skyline.


It comes as it was revealed neighbours had flagged concerns someone was using a barbecue on a balcony just few hours beforehand.

London Fire Brigade confirmed investigators were examining all possibilities but were unable to confirm the source of the fire.

Pete Mason, chair of Barking Reach Residents Association, said concerns about fire safety were raised with builders Bellway Homes.

He said: "The main thing the residents association is saying is, we raised only in May with Bellway we wanted someone to come and look at the buildings.

"We were worried as the result of a Watchdog program that the building standards were not reliable.

"We didn't think it would be safe.It is gut-wrenching. "It is terrible to see what you fear coming about. "The Watchdog report reported experts had said what they uncovered was the tip of the iceberg."

Bellway, which was founded in 1946, was last year on track to build 10,000 homes, having sold 4,741 homes from August 2017 to January 2018.

London Fire Brigade Station Manager Andy Maloney, who was at the scene, said: "Fire crews worked really hard to put the fire out.

"Any residents who are affected by the fire are advised to go to the rest centre at Thames View Community Centre on Bastable Road.

"Transport is available from De Pass Gardens to take people there."

The Brigade's 999 control officers took around 50 calls to the fire.

A spokesperson for Bellway said: “We are taking the matter very seriously and working with all parties to help in establishing the cause of the fire.”

Bellway has been contacted for further comment.

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