Kensington & ChelseaNews

160 people evacuated from homes in middle of night as fire engulfs flats

Fifteen fire engines and about 100 firefighters tackled a fire at a terraced house converted into flats in South Kensington overnight.

The fire hit a terraced five-storey building in Emperor’s Gate. 

A mansard roof and the third floor of the property were destroyed by the fire. The first and second floor were extensively damaged, and the ground floor was partly damaged in the incident.  

London Fire Brigade 999 control officers gave vital fire survival guidance to members of the public before firefighters arrived at the scene. 

About 15 people left the building where the fire started before the brigade arrived. In total, about 160 people were evacuated from the property and surrounding buildings.

Two people were rescued by firefighters from a second floor flat using a 13.5m ladder, while two people were rescued from a fourth floor flat by crews using a turntable ladder. 

One person was rescued from a first floor flat by crews using a short extension ladder. About 11 people were treated for smoke inhalation and taken to hospital by the London Ambulance Service. 

Station Commander Steve Collins, who was at the scene, said: “The fire spread from the ground floor to the top floor and roof of the property. 

“Crews worked extremely hard to contain it and prevent the blaze spreading to adjacent buildings.”

Ben King, Borough Commander for Kensington & Chelsea, said: “People displaced from properties were taken to a local respite centre where they have been given support by our Community Engagement team, the local authority and other partners. 

“About 100 people have since been able to return to neighbouring properties.

“Road closures remain in place and emergency services are likely to remain at the scene throughout the day, so we would ask people to continue to avoid the area.”

The brigade’s 999 Control Officers received 14 calls about the fire. The brigade was called shortly after 12.30am and the fire was under control by 4.40am.. Fire crews from Kensington, Fulham, Battersea, Hammersmith, Chelsea, North Kensington and surrounding fire stations were at the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Pictured top: The blaze in Emperor’s Gate (Picture: London Fire Brigade)


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