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Firefighters have warned about the importance of having a working smoke alarm after a woman was rescued from a fire in Colliers Wood during the early hours of Sunday morning.
Neighbours alerted the Brigade to the blaze after they smelled smoke coming from a ground floor flat on Devonshire Road.
Crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the building and rescued the woman from the flat and then administered oxygen until London Ambulance Service arrived to take her to hospital.
The fire started in the kitchen where it is believed some cooking had been left unattended. Quick work by crews managed to stop the fire spreading to other flats in the block.
Watch Manager Pat Ackroyd who was at the scene said “The flat was fitted with a smoke alarm but the batteries had been removed. Removing batteries means no detection and that could be the difference between life and death. Thankfully neighbours were alerted to the fire otherwise the outcome could have been even worse.
"We believe the fire was cooking related. If you are cooking make sure you don’t leave it unattended on the hob.”
The Brigade was called at 0127 and the fire was under control by 0226. Two fire engines and around ten firefighters from Wimbledon and Tooting fire stations attended the incident.