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Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters dealt a house fire on Queens Row in Walworth.
Half of the first floor was damaged by the blaze. There was a high level of hoarding inside the property which hampered firefighters efforts to tackle the blaze.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said:
“Thankfully the occupant discovered the fire as there was no working smoke alarm in the home. It could have been a lot worse as the level of hoarding inside the flat could have made it difficult to get out of the smoke filled property had the fire developed further. A man left the property before fire crews arrived. He was suffering from smoke inhalation and taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.
Find out more about fire and hoarding
“Blazes in cluttered homes can spread like wildfire, putting those who live in them at serious risk of injury or worse and potentially endangering our firefighters who go to tackle them.
“The fire is believed to have been caused by a tea light igniting paper or card. Make sure you never leave candles unattended and always away from materials.”
The Brigade was called at 0653 and the fire was under control by 0902. Firefighters from Old Kent Road, Peckham, Brixton, West Norwood and Deptford fire stations attended the scene.