Eight people suffering from dizziness and sickness were evacuated from a block of flats on Coombe Road in Croydon last night, while firefighters investigated a smell of unknown chemicals.
Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus used detection and monitoring equipment to sweep the two-storey building and basement, found high levels of chemicals caused by bitumen paint. Residents were treated at the scene by the London Ambulance Service and crews ventilated the building.
While the fire crews were at the scene they found no fire detection at the property. Watch Manager Frank McCarthy said: “Most of the residents chose to stay overnight elsewhere but one man returned to his flat. No smoke alarms were installed at the property so crews installed a smoke alarm in his flat and in the communal area outside his flat.
“It is absolutely essential there’s a minimum of one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test it regularly as they give you vital early warning in the event of a fire. It can buy you precious time in which to get out, stay out and call 999.”
Fire crews from Croydon, Woodside, Lewisham and Euston fire stations attended the incident. The Brigade was called at 2207 and the incident was over at 0041.