London Fire Brigade

Heater warning after flat fire in North Kensington

13 November 2017

The Brigade is reminding homeowners to take extra with portable heaters in this cold weather after fire investigators believe one caused a flat fire.

Four fire engines and around 21 firefighters and officers were called to a fire at a block of flats on Sunbeam Crescent in North Kensington in the early hours of this morning.

Five people left the building via an internal staircase before the Brigade arrived. They were treated on the scene for smoke inhalation by London Ambulance Service before being taken to hospital. Around 15 people evacuated from the rest of the building before the Brigade arrived.

The fire is believed to have been caused by a portable heater being left on overnight.   The flat had no working smoke alarms and so fire was able to develop for some time.

A spokesperson for the Brigade said: "Always unplug unused heaters and other electrical items and don’t leave them on overnight. It’s also crucial to have working smoke alarms in your home. Never leave it to chance that you will discover a fire.

“Everyone should have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of their home and test them regularly. This will give the earliest warning if there is a fire in your home.”

The Brigade’s advice for portable heaters 

  • Secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over, or fit wall-mounted heaters   
  • Keep heaters away from clothes, curtain and furniture   
  • Sit at least one metre away from a heater as it could set light to your clothes or chair, especially if you fall asleep 
  • Always turn off your heater and allow it to cool before moving it

The fire damaged half of a three roomed flat on the first floor of a three floored block of flats.  The Brigade was called at 0118 and the incident was under control by 0200. Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers from North Kensington and Hammersmith fire stations were at the scene.