London Fire Brigade

Wrong charger warning after e-cig causes Camden flat fire

10 September 2015

Fire investigators are reminding people to use the correct chargers with their electronic devices after a charging electronic cigarette started a fire at a flat in Camden.

Firefighters were called to the flat on Camden Park Road on Monday afternoon. Crews wearing breathing apparatus confined the fire to a rear bedroom in the ground floor property. It was left badly damaged by the blaze.

A woman left the flat before the arrival of the Brigade after she was alerted to the fire by the smell of burning and a passer-by who saw flames through a window. She was treated at the scene by the London Ambulance Service for slight smoke inhalation.

The Brigade's fire investigation team believe the fire was started by an electronic cigarette that had been left on charge for around eight hours, using the wrong charger.

The one-year-old electronic cigarette had been in good condition before the fire, it is believed it was mistakenly being charged with a mobile phone charger – both are designed to use a mini USB type connector.

Charlie Pugsley, Head of Fire Investigation at the Brigade said: "It is crucial people only use the genuine chargers supplied by the manufacturers with their electronic devices.

"As seen in this case, one charger may work with multiple electrical items, but it may be of a higher voltage or current than recommended for your device.

"Ensuring the correct type of charger is used will not only stop your device from getting damaged, but will also help prevent fires which can be serious and could even result in death. The occupant was extremely lucky to escape with minor injuries as there was no smoke alarm fitted in the property.

"Everyone should have at least one smoke alarm on every level of their home and the safest option is to have those linked together. This will give the earliest warning if there is a fire in your home."

Two fire engines and around 10 firefighters from  Kentish Town fire station attended the incident. The Brigade was called at 1550 and the fire was under control at 1613.