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A Romford man had a lucky escape from a flat fire thanks to his smoke alarm sounding.
The man was woken to the sound of the smoke alarm and discovered a fire in the living room of his maisonette in Dereham Place, Romford
The occupant went to a window and shouted to an assistant in the shop below the maisonette who then called the Brigade.
Crews wearing breathing apparatus rescued the male occupant from the maisonette via the internal staircase and he was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation by London Ambulance Service crews.
Sadly the man's four cats were found dead in the living room.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “This incident proves just how important it is to have working smoke alarms installed in your home.
“Homes need multiple and linked smoke alarms or you won’t be properly covered. Ideal spots for smoke alarms include rooms where you leave electrical equipment running like satellite boxes, computers or heaters; any room where you smoke, and anywhere you charge your mobile or laptop.
“As a minimum you should have smoke alarms on every floor - in the hallways and the rooms you use the most, plus a heat alarm in the kitchen. They should be linked together and tested regularly.”
The Brigade was called at 0732 and the fire was under control at 0824. Four fire engines and around 20 firefighters and officers from Romford, Hainault, Harold Hill and Dagenham fire stations attended the scene.
The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental.