The London Fire Brigade believe ‘careless disposal of smoking materials,’ is likely to have been the cause of a flat fire that nearly killed a man rendered unconscious by the fumes.
The man in his thirties was rescued when four Met Police officers on night patrol broke in to get him out.
Their car had been flagged down by another tenant.
They were able to use a CO2 extinguisher to put the blaze out before the Brigade arrived to control the fire-fighting operation.
The incident in Roland Gardens happened shortly before midnight on Saturday on the second floor of a block of serviced apartments in Old Brompton Road in South Kensington.
Watch Manager Mark Jelbert, who was at the scene said:
When the fire began the main fire alarm sounded alerted the concierge. One of tenants left the building and flagged down a passing police car.
A police officer entered the flat and used a CO2 extinguisher to put the fire out before the Brigade arrived.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but is thought to have been careless disposal of smoking materials. Fires caused by smoking materials – including cigarettes, roll-ups, cigars and pipe tobacco – result in more deaths than any other type of fire.
The London Fire Brigade has the following advice for smokers:
• Put it out, right out – always make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
• Take extra care when you’re tired or have been drinking alcohol. It’s very easy to fall asleep without realising that your cigarette is still burning.
• Never smoke in bed – if you need to lie down, don’t light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire.
• Fit and maintain a smoke alarm on each level of your home – when a fire starts, you only have a few minutes to escape. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and dial 999.
Three people were taken to hospital, including a police officer by the London Ambulance Service suffering from light smoke inhalation.
Three fire engines and around 18 firefighters and officers from Chelsea, Kensington and Fulham fire stations attended the incident.