Firefighters are reminding people to ensure cookers are fully turned off after use following a fire that destroyed a flat in Hylands Road in Walthamstow this morning.

The Brigade’s fire investigators believe the fire started when household items came into contact with the cooker hob, which had accidentally been left on.

The fire smouldered for several hours after the occupant left the property and fire investigators also believe that the smoke alarm in the property was sounding for around three hours before the Brigade was called.

Crew manager Steve Spence, who was at the scene, said: “There are two key lessons from this fire. Firstly, always check you have turned the hob off after cooking but secondly, don’t ignore a smoke alarm, especially if it’s sounded for some time.

“When crews arrived, the fire was punching out the back of the building. The fire had clearly been burning for quite some time as it had breached the fire door of the affected flat and there was smoke in the communal corridor.

“Properly fitted, maintained and closed fire doors are designed to contain a fire for minimum of 30 minutes, but the delay in calling 999 meant that smoke was eventually able to enter the hallway. The Brigade was finally called when a neighbour’s own smoke alarm sounded. ”

Smoke and fire alarm must-knows

  • Smoke alarms give the earliest possible warning when a fire starts
  • Don’t just fit a smoke alarm in your hall and landing – also fit them in any room where a fire can start. For example, any room where you smoke or leave appliances plugged in.
  • Smoke alarms are not suitable for kitchens but heat alarms are. Fitting a heat alarm in your kitchen will give you warning of an increase in temperature caused by a fire but will not be set off by cooking fumes.

The first floor flat was destroyed by fire. Part of the roof and part of the communal corridor was also damaged by fire.

Firefighters rescued one man via ladder and led another man to safety using the internal staircase. One woman was taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service as a precaution.

The Brigade was called at 0132 and the fire was under control at 0409. Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters from Walthamstow, Woodford, Leyton, Leytonstone and Tottenham fire stations attended the scene.

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