Last updated: 22/02/2021, 11:47 AM

Flat fire – Poplar

21/02/2021 17:36
Tower Hamlets
House or flat fire

Firefighters are warning smokers to dispose of cigarettes carefully after a flat fire on Ellesmere Street in Poplar.

Half of a three-roomed flat on the ground floor of the building was damaged by fire. Five people left the building before the Brigade arrived. There were no reports of any injuries.

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

The alarm was raised when a resident smelt burning and attempted to tackle the fire before leaving the building.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “We’d rather you didn’t smoke at all, but if you are a smoker, it’s absolutely vital that you ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it.

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

“This is also a reminder to never try to tackle a fire yourself. Leave it to the professionals. As soon as you become aware of a fire in your property, get out, stay out, close the door behind you and call 999.”

Safety advice for smokers:

  • It's safer to smoke outside, but make sure cigarettes are put right out and disposed of 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 leave lit pipes or cigarettes unattended.

The Brigade was called at 1736 and the fire was under control by 1827. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Poplar, Millwall, Bethnal Green and Shadwell fire stations attended the scene.  

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