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Firefighters are warning smokers of the danger of not disposing of cigarettes properly after a fire at a pair of semi-detached houses on Mallard Road in South Croydon.
Part of the ground floor of one semi-detached house and most of a detached garage were damaged by the fire and a shed was destroyed. Part of the ground and first floors of the adjoining house were also damaged. Nine people left the buildings before the Brigade arrived. There were no reports of any injuries.
Crews cooled two gas cylinders involved in the fire to make the scene safe, as some cylinders can explode when exposed to heat.
The Brigade's 999 Control Officers took 15 calls to the blaze.
The fire is believed to have been caused by the unsafe disposal of smoking materials.
Firefighters' smoking safety tips
The Brigade was called at 0153 and the fire was under control by 0309. Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters from Addington, Croydon, Purley and Woodside fire stations attended the scene.