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Firefighters are reminding people to make sure they put their cigarettes are out fully when they have finished smoking after a fire at a sheltered accommodation block on South Bank in Surbiton last night.
Part of a flat on the second floor of the building was damaged by the fire.
A woman was rescued by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus. She was suffering from smoke inhalation and taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.
Ten people were evacuated from the second floor as a precaution.
The cause of the fire is believed to be the unsafe disposal of a cigarette.
Surbiton Watch Manager Justin Randtoul, who was at the scene, said:
“We would prefer it if people didn’t smoke at all, but if you do, it is vitally important that cigarettes or other smoking materials are fully extinguished.
“Smoking is one of the biggest cases of fires in the home. People often fall asleep smoking or just carelessly dispose of matches and cigarette butts which can smoulder and cause fires.”
• Make sure you have smoke alarms fitted in every room you regularly use in your home including in the hallways.
• Never smoke in bed.
• Always ensure you stub out cigarettes properly and dispose of them carefully.
• Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach.
• Never leave lit cigarettes or cigars unattended.
• Empty ashtrays carefully, ensuring all smoking materials are stubbed out and cold.
• If you must smoke, do it outdoors.
The Brigade was called at 2152 and the fire was under control at 2302. Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers from Surbiton, Kingston and New Malden fire stations attended the scene.