Twenty fire engines and around 125 firefighters were called to a fire at a block of flats and offices on Whitechapel High Street.
Crews tackled a fire in a flat on the 17th floor of a 21-storey building. The fire also affected balconies on the 17th, 18th and 19th floors.
Station Commander Chris Jenner, who was at the scene, said: “This was a dynamic and visible fire with our 999 Control Officers taking more than 50 calls in the early stages. A woman was trapped by the nature of the fire on the 17th floor. She was given fire survival advice by control officers until firefighters located her. Fire crews used a fire escape hood to help lead the woman to safety via the internal staircase.
“We mobilised a 64 metre turntable ladder to the scene. This is the tallest firefighting ladder in Europe and allowed us to get water onto the fire from outside the building.
“The professionalism, hard work and quick actions of control officers and firefighters limited the damage to the block and prevented serious injuries.”
Fire escape hoods provide members of the public with up to 15 minutes protection from four of the main fire gases (carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride and acrolein) and can be worn by conscious or unconscious people. If more than 15 minutes protection is required then another hood can be given to each wearer. They do not provide oxygen but temporarily filter toxic smoke to make breathing easier.
The Brigade was called at 1553 and the fire was under control by 1907. Fire crews from Whitechapel, Shoreditch, Dowgate, Bethnal Green, Dockhead, Old Kent Road, Islington and surrounding fire stations were at the scene.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Please contact the London Ambulance Service for details about casualty numbers.