Six fire engines and 35 firefighters and officers were called to a fire in a high rise block of flats on Lollard Street in Lambeth yesterday evening.
The fire damaged a five roomed flat on the 20th floor of the 23 storey block and firefighters led seven people who were being affected by smoke from the fire down an internal staircase to safety. They were treated at the scene by London Ambulance Service and one person was taken to hospital.
Eighty other residents left the block before the Brigade arrived.
Lambeth Crew Manager David Stapley who was at the scene said: "Crews did a really good job and made an early attack on the blaze, ensuring that it was confined to the flat where it started."
Reminding people of the importance of having a fire plan he added in the event of a fire people living in high rise and purpose built blocks were usually safer staying in their flats unless they were being directly affected by heat or smoke, like the seven residents from the floor above the fire who crews assisted out of the building.
Crew Manager Stapley said: “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.
“If buildings are built and maintained correctly, walls, floors and doors in flats and maisonettes give you protection from fire – a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes – so, 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. Stay put and call 999. If you leave your flat you could be rushing into smoke, the fire itself or firefighters using equipment to bring the fire under control in another part of the building.
“If there is a fire inside your flat or maisonette, or you are being directly affected by it, our advice is to leave, close the door behind you and call 999.”
The Brigade was called at 2238 and the fire was under control at 0022. Crews from Lambeth, Soho, Peckham, Brixton and Dowgate fire stations attended the incident.
The fire is believed to have been caused after smoking materials accidentally came into contact with a mattress and bedding.
Reminding smokers to take extra care a London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “If you are a smoker you should never smoke in bed. It is also vital that you take extra care and ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it. If you don’t, you risk causing a fire which could not only destroy your home, but also cost you your life.”
You can find out more about preventing smoking related fires here.