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Firefighters are warning smokers to make sure their cigarettes are properly extinguished after a flat fire in an eight storey block in Walworth this morning.
The third floor flat in Amelia Street suffered fire damage to a bedroom and a mattress.
The three male occupants of the affected flat fled to a balcony to avoid the smoke. They were escorted to safety by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and later taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service suffering from smoke inhalation.
Fire investigators believe the fire was started accidentally by smoking in bed.
London Fire Brigade’s Fire Investigator Matthew Cullen said:
“Crews worked hard to stop the fire spreading to any of the surrounding properties.
If you are a smoker it is vital that you take extra care. Fires caused by smoking materials - including cigarettes, roll-ups, cigars and pipe tobacco - result in more deaths than any other type of fire.
“It’s vital you ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it. If you don’t, you risk causing a fire which could destroy not just your home, but also your life.”
• Put it out, right out - always make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
• Take extra care when you’re tired or have been drinking alcohol. It’s very easy to fall asleep without realising that your cigarette is still burning.
• Never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don’t light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire.
• Fit and maintain a smoke alarm on each level of your home - when a fire starts, you only have a few minutes to escape. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and dial 999.
Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers from Lambeth, Dowgate and Old Kent Road fire stations attended the incident.
The Brigade was called at 0319 and the fire was under control at 0429.