13 rescued from Plumstead blaze “caused by cigarette”

PUBLISHED: 15:46 06 February 2012

The blaze was out in an hour

The blaze was out in an hour


Thirteen people, including six children, had to be rescued from their flats after a cigarette caused the ground floor to go up in flames.

Residents were trapped by the smoke after a fire broke out in a ground floor flat last night (5) at 11.34pm in Barnfield Gardens, Plumstead.

Two women, a man and two children were rescued from the first floor by firefighters using a ladder. They were taken to hospital by ambulance suffering from smoke inhalation.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus rescued a woman and four children from the second floor and were carried down the staircase and out of the building.

A man and two women from the third floor also had to be rescued by firefighters.

Watch Manager from Woolwich fire station Justin Hudson, who was at the scene said: “We believe the fire was caused by a cigarette. This fire shows just how dangerous cigarettes can be so if you do smoke, please make sure your cigarette is completely out once you’ve finished with it. Hundreds of fires are caused by cigarettes each year in London and many of them could be easily avoided if smokers took better care.

“The ground floor flat didn’t have any smoke alarms and the residents were only alerted when a smoke alarm in one of the other flats went off. Having a smoke alarm in your home is essential as it provides a vital early warning if a fire breaks out and allows you to escape quickly. Smoke alarms save lives so I’d urge everyone to go out and get one today.”

All of those rescued from the second and third floors were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by paramedics.

Four fire engines and approximately 20 firefighters from Woolwich and Plumstead fire stations managed to get the blaze under control by 1.19am.

Part of the flat’s living room was damaged by the fire.

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