Kensington & ChelseaNews

Met cops praised for rapid response to Kensington blaze, as suspect is charged

Dramatic bodycam images have emerged of the moment police rescued residents from a terrifying blaze in Kensington.

A man was arrested on suspicion of arson following the fire at a block of flats at Emperor’s Gate, Kensington, which started at around 12.15am on Friday.

Today (Monday), Wesley Guilherme Farias, 25, of no fixed abode, was charged with arson with intent to endanger life. He is due appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The body-worn footage released today shows how officers kicked down the front door to enter the burning building. They then gained access to six flats to rescue those inside.

Officers worked alongside colleagues from London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service as all the emergency services responded rapidly to the incident.

Officers race into the burning building

The fire is being treated as suspicious and yesterday a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. He remains in custody.

Seven police officers and six residents suffered smoke inhalation during the incident. All were taken to hospital and all have been discharged. Thankfully no one suffered more serious injuries.

Superintendent Jill Horsfall, one of the senior officers responsible for policing Kensington & Chelsea, said: “The bravery and professionalism of the Met officers who responded so rapidly to this terrifying fire shows the very best of policing.

The scene that greeted first responders

“They acted without hesitation to rapidly enter a burning building full of smoke and to save lives. Our subsequent investigation will be equally tenacious and we now have a man in custody.”

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation should call 101, ref 107/01Mar. To remain anonymous please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Pictured top: Image from bodycam from outside the burning building (All Pictures: The Met)

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