London Fire Brigade

Soho - flat fire

13 January 2018

Firefighters have issued a safety warning after a cat died in a fire which is believed to have been started by a knocked over candle at a flat in Marshall Street, Soho.

Half of a flat on the third floor was damaged in the fire. A cat found in the flat is thought to have died as a result of smoke inhalation.

Around 10 people evacuated the other flats and no other injuries were reported.

The Brigade’s fire investigators believe the cause of the fire was due to a lit candle being knocked over, possibly by the cat, and igniting combustible materials.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Candles, incense and oil burners are one of the biggest causes of fires in the home and if they are left unattended the consequences can be devastating.

“Sadly a cat died as a result of this fire and although the building did have smoke alarms, if a person had been in the flat of origin, they too could have been injured or worse.

“It is so important that you never leave candles unattended and keep them away from curtains and any other materials which can easily catch fire.

“Fires can start in any home room so it is also vital to have smoke alarms in your property which are tested regularly. Smoke alarms should be fitted in your hallways and landings and in any room where you smoke, use candles or leave electrical equipment on charge.”

Top candle safety tips:

• Keep candles/tea lights away from curtains, furniture and anything else that can catch fire
• Keep loose clothing and hair away from candles/tea lights when they are lit
• Always place your candles/tea lights in a suitable fire resistant candleholder
• Make sure the candleholder holds the candle/tea light firmly and is on a flat and stable surface to stop it falling over
• Make sure you put out any candles, incense and oil burners when you leave the room and especially before bed Keep out of reach of children and pets

The Brigade was called at 0031 and the fire was under control at 0126. Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers from Soho, Euston and Lambeth fire stations attended the scene.