Last updated: 09/07/2018, 6:19 PM

Fire at a block of flats - West Hampstead

03/07/2018 11:25
House or flat fire

Firefighters have issued a smoking safety warning after a balcony fire in Heritage Lane, West Hampstead, is believed to have been caused by a cigarette butt.

Five balconies were destroyed by the fire. The Brigade's 999 control officers received 40 calls about the incident.

The building was fitted with a sprinkler system and the sprinkler heads inside the affected properties activated and helped suppress the fire.

The Brigade’s fire investigators believe the cause of the fire was due to a cigarette butt being discarded into a plant pot on the balcony of the third floor.

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."

Safety advice for smokers

  • 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 1125 and the fire was under control at 1310. Eight fire engines and 58 firefighters and office from West Hampstead, Paddington, Willesden and surrounding fire stations attended the scene.