Firefighters are warning Londoners not to use fake electrical chargers after a counterfeit phone charger caused a devastating fire at a house in Cumbrian Gardens in Cricklewood on Monday (June 12).
The occupant first smelt smoke in a room in the loft conversion and a short time later saw smoke, which then caused the smoke alarm to sound.
After alerting other residents in the property to the fire, a neighbour saw thick black smoke coming from a Velux window in the roof and they called the Brigade.
The entire loft conversion of the semi detached property was damaged by fire and the Brigade’s fire investigators believe the fire was caused by a counterfeit phone charger.
Charlie Pugsley, head of fire investigation, said: “It isn’t worth putting your life at risk and potentially destroying your home by buying a fake charger to save a few pounds.
"Genuine chargers may cost a little bit more, and while you may think you're only paying for the brand name, you are actually buying peace of mind because you know the charger is going to be specifically designed for your phone and that it will meet the correct safety standards.
"It's also vitally important to use the correct type of charger for your product.
"Using an incompatible charger runs the risk of over-charging, which can have explosive results and cause a fire which could destroy your home and put lives at risk too.”
Three people left the property before the arrival of the Brigade and one man was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by London Ambulance Service crews.
Six fire engines and 35 firefighters and officers from Finchley, Kentish Town, Willesden, North Kensington and Mill Hill fire stations attended the scene.
The Brigade was called at 1302 and the fire was under control at 1359.