Firefighters rescued two men from a fire at a block of flats on Staveley Close in Peckham, last night.
Crews also helped another two men and two women from a flat on the first floor and two women from a flat on the second floor, out of the building.
The fire affected a flat on the ground floor and one of the two men rescued from the property was unconscious when firefighters reached him.
Station Manager Tim Frost who was at the scene, said: “As crews arrived, the flat was already smoke logged and firefighters broke down the door and rescued two men, one of whom was unconscious. Crews gave him oxygen and thankfully he came to and one was taken to hospital by LAS. A further eight people were escorted from neighbouring flats by firefighters.
“These two men had a very lucky escape as the flat didn’t have a working smoke alarm and it was neighbours who smelt smoke and called 999. The fire was already very developed by the time neighbours noticed the smoke and if the Brigade had been called any later, this could have been a very different story.
“I can’t stress how important smoke alarms are; everyone should have at least one smoke alarm on every level of their home. You should test it regularly as it gives you early warning of a fire in your home.
“This incident also shows how important it is to know your fire plan when you live in a purpose built flat or block. Living in a flat is not more dangerous than living in a house, but it's important to know that your fire plan should be different.”
Half of the ground floor flat was damaged by fire.
Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers from Deptford, New Cross, Greenwich and Peckham fire stations attended the incident.
The Brigade was called at 2351 and the fire was under control at 0102. The cause of the fire in under joint investigation by the London Fire Brigade and the Metropolitan Police.
To find out more about fire safety in purpose built blocks and high rise flats visit www.knowtheplan.co.uk