The skyscraper evacuation at The Shard apparently forced around 900 of its tenants and staff to flee the largest building in western Europe over a fake fire alarm.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, when the Willis Tower skydeck’s glass floor began to crack under the pressure of its millions of visitors the people inside the ledge freaked out on video. But the Chicago skydeck was re-opened very quickly because staff claimed the only thing that cracked was a transparent protective layer, not the three-inch glass that was holding everyone up. The solution? Throw a rug over the problem.
Unfortunately, the problem with the Shard fire does not seem to have a simple solution like a rug. The skyscraper evacuation was prompted following reports of smoke coming from the basement of the building. About seven fire engines and 50 firefighters were sent to the scene of the possible Shard fire after emergency calls were sent out at around 10:30 am on Thursday.
Even though the skyscraper evacuation proceeded as planned, and no injuries were reported by the London Ambulance Service, the London Fire Brigade said there was never any fire and the smoke that had triggered the alarm had already dissipated. Keeley Foster, station manager for the London Fire Brigade, said his crews had been called in for a potential shard fire over “slight” smoke:
“Once the alarm sounded in the building, the management put procedures into place for the evacuation process. As we arrived, the commander at the time decided that as a precaution the entire building was to be evacuated and crews quickly worked alongside building management to make sure that occurred. Evacuating such large numbers of people can impede crews if there is a fire apparent but because it has been practiced a number of times and we have worked alongside building management on a number of exercises, it was quite a quick and easy process.”
At this point the investigation has not yet determined where the Shard fire alarm originated, although it’s speculated that smoke had been created by an electrical fault. No arrests have been made and Scotland Yard said inquiries on the cause of the fire were ongoing.
The skyscraper evacuation was quite an undertaking because it involved evacuating office workers, tenants living in its luxury apartments, and everyone from the Shard’s three restaurants and a five-star hotel. The Shard was designed by architect Renzo Piano and was officially opened in the spring of 2013 after several years of construction.