Firefighters are warning smokers to discard cigarettes carefully after eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters tackled a flat fire on Otto Street in Kennington.
Half of a flat on the first floor of the building was damaged by fire and the remaining part of the property suffered severe smoke and heat damage. Thirteen adults and five children were treated on scene by London Ambulance Service crews.
The Brigade's Fire Investigators believe the fire was caused by a cigarette being discarded from an upper floor and coming into contact with combustible materials stored on a first floor balcony.
Station Commander Ned Alexander who was at the scene said: "Firefighters have worked exceptionally hard to get this flat fire under control. The first floor flat was damaged by the blaze but crews prevented it from spreading further.
"Around 100 people self evacuated from the building and a number of other residents stayed within their flats.
"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.”
"The Brigade’s 999 Control Officers took sixty 999 calls in the early stages."
The Brigade was called at 1231 and the fire was under control by 1317. Fire crews from Lambeth, Peckham, Brixton, Dowgate, Clapham and surrounding fire stations were at the scene.