Firefighters rescued four people from a house converted into flats on Uxbridge Road, Hanwell after a fire broke out in the property during the early hours of this morning.
The fire which damaged part of a three room flat on the first floor and left the rest of the building heavily smoke logged, has also prompted a fire safety warning about using incense sticks.
All four people rescued from the blaze were led to safety down an internal staircase and out of a back exit by crews wearing breathing apparatus. Two of those rescued – both men – were taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service. One was suffering from smoke inhalation, the other from smoke inhalation and burns. Three other people left the property before the Brigade arrived.
Watch Manager Darryl Brennand who was at the scene said: “The actions of our firefighters when they first arrived at the fire were exemplary. Crews did a 360 degree reconnaissance of the property to quickly establish where the water supplies and the seat of the fire were and also where the exits were located so we could identify the best way to get people out. This meant we were able to get water onto the fire and commit breathing apparatus crews inside the property quickly to get these four people out.”
The fire is believed to be accidental and to have been caused by an incense stick which had carried on burning with a flame instead of smouldering once it had been ignited. The sticks were also being kept on a wall mounted intercom.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “It looks like the sticks had been ignited and that they had continued to burn with a flame before a burning section fell, igniting items beneath it. If you are using incense sticks always make sure they are smouldering rather than burning with a flame and that the stick is fully extinguished before you go to bed or leave the room. You should also place them on a stable, heat resistant surface so they don’t fall and set fire to anything close by.”
The Brigade was called to the fire at 0058 and it was under control by 0227. Four fire engines and 20 firefighters from Ealing, Acton and Southall fire stations attended the scene.