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Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus rescued seven people from a fire at flats above a shop on South End, Croydon.
Five people from the second floor and two people from the first floor were led to safety by crews via an internal staircase. Three other people escaped before the arrival of the Brigade, fortunately there were no injuries.
Part of a communal landing on the second floor was damaged by fire.
Four fire engines from Wallington, Norbury and Croydon fire stations attended the incident.
The Brigade was called at 0323 and the fire was under control at 0439. The cause of the fire is under investigation.