Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus rescued a woman and three children from a fire in a block of flats on Harrington Square in Camden this evening.
The woman and children had become trapped in a lift when the fire cut the electricity supply to the building which stalled the lift. Around 70 people evacuated the tower block before the arrival of the Brigade.
Station Manager Sam Kazmanli who was at the scene said:
“It’s incidents like this that show how important it is to know what to do if there is a fire and you live in a flat or a purpose built block. This fire caused smoke to travel into the communal areas of the building and many of the people who evacuated did so through the smoke. If there is a fire elsewhere in the building but not inside your home you're usually safer staying in your flat unless heat or smoke is affecting you. Flats and maisonettes are built to give you some protection from fire – a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 60. Walls, floors and doors will hold back flames and smoke for a time. If you leave your flat you could be rushing into choking smoke, the fire itself or firefighters using equipment to bring the fire under control in another part of the building.
“Living in a flat is not more dangerous than living in a house, but it's important to know that your fire plan should be different.
“The fire knocked the power out and this in turn stalled the lift which must have been terrifying for the woman and children stuck in it. Crews worked quickly to get them and it’s important to stress that they were unaware of the fire when they entered the lift but it does show what could happen if you try to use a lift in the event of a fire. You could end up trapped and you should always use the stairs”
Part of the electrical intake room on the ground floor of the twenty storey property was damaged in the fire.
The Brigade was called at 1604 and the fire was under control at 1842.
Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers attended the incident with crews from Kentish Town, Soho and Islington fire stations.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.