Firefighters have issued a smoking safety reminder after a fire at a flat in Horsell Road in Orpington.
Most of a three-roomed flat on the ground floor was damaged by the fire. Two men and a woman were led to safety by crews wearing breathing apparatus. One of the men was assessed on scene by London Ambulance Service crews. A further seven adults and four children were taken to hospital as a precaution, suffering smoke inhalation. Another 17 people left the building before the Brigade arrived.
The Brigade's fire investigators believe the fire was caused by the unsafe disposal of smoking materials, such as a cigarette or match.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "We would rather people didn’t smoke at all but if they do, vaping is a safer option.
"If you do choose to smoke cigarettes, it is 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."
The Brigade was called at 0432 and the fire was under control at 0625. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Orpington and Sidcup fire stations attended the scene.