NBC News and msnbc.com
updated 7/1/2011 7:30:12 PM ET 2011-07-01T23:30:12

Fire broke out Friday in a Hilton hotel in London, sending plumes of smoke billowing from the 28-story building and forcing about 1,500 guests and staff to flee, including Black Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am.

Photographs posted on social media sites showed people leaving the London Hilton on Park Lane as smoke rose into the sky.

Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas was among the evacuees, the Daily Mail reported. The newspaper said the band was to perform in the Wireless Festival in nearby Hyde Park in the evening.

BBC reported that the hotel had just hosted a music awards ceremony attended by Liza Minnelli and Annie Lennox. The Telegraph newspaper said Lennox took the main prize in the Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Awards. The Telegraph said Paul McCartney won for best live act.

Sam Cunningham, a sports reporter for the Independent newspaper, told NBC News he was working in the hotel when the fire alarm went off and the building was evacuated swiftly.

BBC reported that the fire broke out in the kitchen just after 6:40 p.m. local time and spread to the basement and second floor. BBC said London Ambulance Service reported no fire-related injuries.

The hotel, built in 1963, has 453 rooms. It had a complete renovation in 2010. It is near Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace.

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