A passerby helped save an empty maisonette from being completely damaged in a fire by calling the fire Brigade when he saw smoke coming from the first floor window.
Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers were called to a fire at the maisonnette above a restaurant in High Street, Hornchurch on Saturday evening
The property was empty at the time of the time fire and it’s believed there were no smoke alarms fitted.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said:
“Even if a property is unoccupied, smoke alarms can raise the alarm before the fire becomes visible to neighbours or a passersby. The sooner the Brigade is called, the sooner we can contain the fire and stop the spread to neighbouring buildings.
“Even empty homes need multiple and linked smoke alarms or you won’t be properly covered. 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."
Most of the ground floor was damaged in the blaze but the crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading and the rest of the property only has smoke damage.
Fire crews from Hornchurch, Dagenham, Romford, and Harold Hill fire stations attended the scene.
The Brigade was called at 2202 and the fire was under control at 2332.
The cause of the fire is under investigation