Cigarette trigger for blaze is reminder of smoking perils in flats, says brigade

Firefighters have issued a reminder of their cigarette safety advice following a fire at a block of flats in Woolwich on Sunday.

Half of a four-roomed flat on the fourth floor of the block in Belson Road was damaged by the fire. One man left the building before the brigade’s arrival and was treated on the scene by London Ambulance Service crews.

Fire investigators found the property didn’t have working smoke alarms and the fire was most likely caused by the unsafe disposal of smoking materials.

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “This incident shows just how vital it is to have working smoke alarms. It’s also a timely reminder for smokers to ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it.

“If you don’t, you risk causing a fire which could not only destroy your home, but also cost you your life.”

The brigade’s top tips are to smoke outside, wherever possible, rather than indoors and that they should be fully extinguished and disposed of properly after use.

The say never smoke in bed, and avoid smoking on armchairs and sofas – especially if you think you might fall asleep.

They also recommend taking extra care when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs or if you’ve been drinking alcohol, and the use of proper ashtrays, which can’t tip over, and to stub cigarettes out properly.

The brigade was called at around 3.45pm and the incident was over for firefighters at 4.30pm. Firefighters from East Greenwich, Greenwich and Eltham fire stations attended the scene.

Pictured top: The building where the fire happened (Picture: LFB)

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