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Last updated: 02/04/2020, 10:37 AM

Rubbish fire at block of flats - Paddington Green

01/04/2020 15:02
Westminster
House or flat fire

Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters dealt with a fire in a lift shaft of a block of flats on Paddington Green in Paddington.

Smoke alarms fitted in the property alerted a resident to the fire, who then called the Brigade. Eight people left the building before the Brigade arrived. Firefighters led one person to safety and nine further people and a cat were rescued from a second floor balcony using an aerial ladder platform. Three women were treated on scene after suffering from smoke inhalation.

The fire was contained to the lift shaft on the lower ground floor. The base of the lift shaft and the underside of the lift car were damaged by fire. 

The Brigade's Fire Investigators believe the fire was caused by the unsafe disposal of smoking materials. 

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "Fires caused by smoking materials including cigarettes, roll-ups, cigars and pipes, result in more deaths than any other type of fire. Stub cigarettes out properly and always dispose of them carefully.

"Make sure smoking materials are cold before emptying ashtrays. Preferably wet stubs before throwing them into a bin.”

 Firefighters' smoking safety tips

  1. It's safer to smoke outside, but make sure cigarettes are put right out and disposed of properly.
  2. Never smoke in bed, and avoid smoking on arm chairs and sofas – especially if you think you might fall asleep.
  3. Take extra care when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs or if you’ve been drinking alcohol.
  4. Use proper ashtrays, which can’t tip over and stub cigarettes out properly.
  5. Don't balance cigars or cigarettes on the edge of an ashtray, or anything else – they can tip and fall as they burn away and cause a fire.
  6. Don’t leave lit pipes or cigarettes unattended. 
  7. Always empty ashtrays carefully. Make sure smoking materials are out, cold and preferably wet them before throwing into a bin – never use a wastepaper basket.
  8. Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach, and buy child resistant lighters.
  9. Never smoke if you use healthcare equipment like medical oxygen or an air flow pressure relief mattress. If you use paraffin-based emollient creams, ask for non-flammable alternatives instead. 
  10. Consider additional safety measures such as fire retardant bedding or nightwear.

The Brigade was called at 1502 and the fire was under control by 1603. Fire crews from Euston, Kensington, North Kensington and Paddington fire stations attended the scene.