A partially sighted man was led to safety by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus after a fire broke out in a sheltered housing block on Parkhill Road in Belsize Park yesterday evening. Fortunately all the other twenty nine residents had evacuated their properties before the Brigade arrived.
A smoke alarm went off in the building alerting residents to the fire which started in a refuse room on the ground floor, leaving it gutted by the blaze. Thankfully no one was injured.
Fire investigators believe that the fire was caused by carelessly discarded smoking materials.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “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. Around three fires a day in London are linked to smoking and half of accidental fire deaths were related to careless disposal of cigarettes.
“It’s absolutely 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 only your home, but also your life.”
Reminding people about the importance of having a smoke alarm the spokesperson added: “It is absolutely essential that you have a minimum of one smoke alarm fitted on every level of your home and that you test it regularly as they give a vital early warning in the event of a fire.”
Four fire engines and around 21 firefighters and officers from Kentish Town, West Hampstead and Holloway fire stations attended the incident.
The Brigade was called at 1845 and the fire was under control by 2003.