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Smoke alarms saved the lives of at least eighteen people after a fire at a block of flats in Westmoreland Drive in Sutton.
An occupant of a ground floor flat awoke to a smoke alarm sounding and saw a fire outside their front door. The occupant and their family went to the rear balcony and were able to call the Brigade and alert other occupants in the building.
Firefighters used ladders to rescue two adults and two children from the first floor and a further two adults and two children from the third floor of the building.
Another 10 people left the building before the arrival of the Brigade. Two people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by London Ambulance Service crews, with one taken to hospital.
The Brigade’s fire investigators believe the fire was deliberate and due to the application of a naked flame to items stored in the communal corridor.
A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said: “Yet again smoke alarms alerted a resident who then dialled 999. Everyone should have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of their home and the safest option is to have those linked together. This will give the earliest warning if there is a fire in your home.
“It is also vitally important that communal areas are kept clear. Things must not be stored in corridors or staircases as this can block escape routes and stop firefighters doing their job.”
The Brigade was called at 0432 and the fire was under control at 0611. Fire crews from Sutton, Wallington, Mitcham and Croydon fire stations attended the scene.