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Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers were called to a fire in a building on Berkeley Square in central London this morning.
The lower three floors of the nine storey block are occupied by a gallery and auction house while the upper floors, where the fire occurred, are unoccupied and under construction. Thanks to quick actions by crews the fire was confined to a small area of decking on the outside of the sixth floor.
Soho Watch Manager Graham Rooney said: “We managed to get the aerial ladder platform up quickly so we could put the fire out from above before it had a chance to spread through the building and into the eaves of the roof. If it hadn’t been for the quick actions of firefighters at the scene we could have been looking at a very different fire.”
The Brigade was called at 0545 and the fire was under control by 0630. Crews from Soho, Paddington and Euston fire stations attended the scene.
The cause of the fire is believed to be discarded smoking materials.
A spokesman for the London Fire Brigade added incidents like this show how important it is to put out cigarettes properly:
“There are around three fires a day in London linked to smoking materials such as cigarettes, roll-ups, cigars and pipe tobacco and half of accidental fire deaths we see are 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 that could destroy not only your property, but also your life.”