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Four fire engines and around 21 firefighters and officers were called to a fire in a block of flats on Rotherhithe Old Road, Rotherhithe this afternoon.
The Brigade was alerted when a passer by saw smoke and fire coming from the property. A balcony on the third floor of the 16 storey block was badly damaged in the blaze.
Crews wearing breathing apparatus had to force entry into the flat, which was empty at the time of the fire, and thankfully no one was injured.
The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental, and caused by the sun’s rays being refracted onto a glass bottle onto clothing and cardboard.
A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said:
“These sort of incidents are not as rare as you would think and in the last five years we've seen over 100 fires caused by the sun's rays. Crystals, glass ornaments and items such as dressing table mirrors should be kept out of direct sunlight at all times.”
The Brigade’s top three sunlight safety tips are:
• Keep mirrors and crystal or glass objects away from sunny sills
• Fit at least one smoke alarm per floor and test them every week to make sure they work and the batteries are not flat.
• If you have a fire, close the door on the blaze, get out stay out and call the Brigade
The Brigade was called at 1331 and the fire was under control by 1410. Fire crews from Dockhead, Deptford, Old Kent Road and Greenwich fire stations were at the scene.