Residents evacuated as flats hit by fire

An investigation was under way today after a blaze broke out in a block of flats.

Residents were evacuated to a nearby hotel and three people were rescued from the block in central London in the early hours of this morning.

A spokesman for London Fire Brigade said the blaze broke out in a 10-roomed flat on the fourth floor of Berkeley Court in Glentworth Street, in the borough of Westminster.

The building is understood to be privately owned.

A Westminster Council spokesman said affected residents were moved into a nearby hotel where the council's social service teams were on stand-by.

Two men and a woman were treated at the scene and 160 people were evacuated from the building.

A council spokesman said residents had been allowed to return to the block apart from one family who were expected to be allowed back shortly.

He said three flats are thought to have been badly damaged by the fire but it was understood that the residents were out of the country.

A spokesman for London Fire Brigade said the blaze, which began shortly before 2am, was put out by 5.40am.

He said 40 people had left the block of their own accord, with 120 evacuated by the fire brigade. Everyone was accounted for.

He refused to speculate on the cause of the fire.

He said: "Once it is safe to do so, a fire investigation team will go in to compile their report."

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said two men were taken to hospital after the fire.

"They were feeling unwell after leaving the building. They were not injured," he said.

A council spokesman said the affected residents were moved into a nearby hotel where the council's social service teams were on standby.

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