Three fire engines and 15 firefighters attended a flat fire on Surrey Street in Croydon.
Part of the split level flat on the first and second floor was damaged by the blaze. A man, woman, boy and an infant left the property before the Brigade arrived. They were all suffering from smoke inhalation and taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.
A market inspector overheard that the boy knew exactly what to do because he had received a school visit from Brigade staff.
Councillor Mark Watson, Croydon’s cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, said: “Our market inspector, Fiona Woodcock, was full of praise for the twelve year old son of one of the families who had the presence of mind to call the emergency services and give officers a diagram of the flat when they arrived on the scene.
“He told witnesses that he’d learnt about what to do from a talk given at his school by a firefighter from the Croydon station. Staff from the neighbouring Virgin Active gym also deserve thanks for helping with the evacuation.”
The Brigade provides free fire safety education to children in primary and secondary schools within Greater London.
Firefighters were called at 1023 and the fire was under control by 1203. Fire crews from Croydon and Norbury fire stations were at the scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation.