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A family had a lucky escape after a fire broke out in a maisonette on Abbey Road in St John's Wood last night.
Batteries in the smoke alarms inside the property were flat and failed to alert the family to the fire. Fortunately one of the occupant’s smelt smoke and on discovering the fire in a bedroom evacuated the property with three children. Thankfully no injuries are reported.
The cause of the fire is believed to be caused by carelessly discarded smoking materials on bedding.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “If the resident hadn’t noticed the smell of smoke this fire could have had a very different outcome. A batteryless smoke alarm is no use to anyone.
“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.
“If you're a smoker 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 which could not only destroy your home, but also cost you your life.”
Four fire engines and around 21 firefighters and officers attended the fire from West Hampstead and Paddington fire stations. The Brigade was called at 1929 and the fire was under control by 2015.