Plumber helps residents escape burning block of flats in Peckham

A plumber showed quick thinking when he helped more than a dozen people to safety from a burning block of flats he was working on last week.

Tom Holt, who works for Pimlico Plumbers, sprang into action after being alerted to the blaze which was threatening to engulf a flat on the top floor of a block of flats in Azenby Road, Peckham.

The 22-year-old contained the fire in the flat, which was filling with thick black smoke, by closing all the doors.

“I didn’t really think about it – I just wanted to make sure everyone was safe,” said Tom.

Tom then started banging on doors and helping the neighbours to safety as the London Fire Bridge headed to the scene in Azenby Road.

Tom added: “It was a bit of a shock and quite scary. I didn’t really think about it – I just wanted to make sure that everyone one was safely out of the building.  I checked where the fire was and it had engulfed the kitchen.

“The lady’s flat was in complete darkness due to the smoke and burning plastic. It was too dangerous to control, so I tried to stop it spreading by shutting all the doors in her property. I got her out and called 999. I went door to door getting everyone out of the block of flats, working my way to the bottom, before going to the top to check everyone was out.

“The top floor was pitch black, you couldn’t even see the lights on the landing as the soot had covered everything. I had to leave the block with no shoes and in the pouring rain. About 30 seconds after I escaped, black smoke was pouring from the whole building. Luckily, I’d got everyone out just in time.”

Giulio Galanti lives opposite the flat that caught on fire and said the kitchen and some of the flat was completely destroyed.

“There was smoke coming out the front door when we got outside. He (Tom) was definitely helpful. He knocked on all the doors as we ran down the stairs.”

A spokeswoman for London Fire Brigade said: “On October 8 we were called at 9.12am and two fire engines from Peckham and New Cross attended. The incident was over for us at 10.12am.

“A studio flat on the third floor was partially destroyed by fire. One female left before London Fire Brigade arrived and was treated on the scene.”


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