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Last updated: 11/05/2020, 11:22 AM

Fire at flat – Sydenham

09/05/2020 18:39
House or flat fire

Firefighters are urging Londoners to dispose of cigarettes carefully after a fire at a flat on Bell Green in Sydenham.

The fire started outside a bicycle store room and spread to the wall of a block of flats. Part of a bicycle store room on the ground floor was damaged by fire. Around 80 people were evacuated from the building as a precaution. Two women were treated on scene by London Ambulance Service Crews after suffering from smoke inhalation.

The fire was discovered by a resident who saw smoke outside of their kitchen window and called 999.

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

Firefighters' smoking safety tips

  • It's safer to smoke outside, but make sure cigarettes are put right out and disposed of properly.
  • Never smoke in bed, and avoid smoking on arm chairs and sofas – especially if you think you might fall asleep.
  • Take extra care when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs or if you’ve been drinking alcohol.
  • Use proper ashtrays, which can’t tip over and stub cigarettes out properly.
  • 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.
  • Don’t leave lit pipes or cigarettes unattended.
  • 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.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach, and buy child resistant lighters.
  • 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.
  • Consider additional safety measures such as fire retardant bedding or nightwear.

The Brigade was called at 1839 and the fire was under control by 2127. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Beckenham, Lewisham, Bromley and West Norwood fire stations attended the scene.

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