35 firefighters and officers tackled a fire in block of flats on Banning Street in Greenwich this afternoon.
Thanks to a fire alarm sounding around 5 people evacuated the building and there were no injuries. A balcony belonging to a flat on the 6th floor of the building was damaged in the fire.
Station Manager Matthew Burrows who is at the scene said:
“Incidents like this show how important it is to have a smoke alarm but also how you must know what to do if there is a fire in a block of flats as your escape plan will be slightly different.
Thankfully in this case, the residents did the right thing. Those who evacuated the building were in the communal areas and so were at risk of being directly affected by the smoke coming from the balcony. However, some residents who were in their flats and not being directly affected by heat or smoke stayed put. 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.”
Six fire engines and 35 firefighters and officers from East Greenwich, Dockhead, New Cross, Deptford, Greenwich and Lewisham fire stations attended the incident.
The Brigade was called at 1323 and the fire was under control at 1445.
Last year the Brigade launched a campaign to ensure people living in purposed built blocks know what to do in the event of a fire.