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Warning for smokers after flat blaze

Part of a ground-floor home was damaged in fire

24 September, 2021 — By Geoffrey Sawyer

FIREFIGHTERS have issued fire safety advice for smokers after a flat fire in King’s Cross.

Part of a five-roomed flat on the ground floor of a building in Collier Street was damaged by fire.

Two people left the building before the London Fire Brigade arrived and a man and a woman were treated on scene.

The fire is believed to have been accidental and caused by the unsafe disposal of smoking materials.

A Brigade spokesperson said: “We’d rather you didn’t smoke at all, but if you are a smoker it’s absolutely vital you 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 said it had been called just after 4pm last Thursday and firefighters took around 90 minutes to bring it under control.

Five fire engines and around 35 firefighters from Islington, Shoreditch, Kentish Town, Euston and Soho fire stations were on the scene.

Meanwhile, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been asked last week how he was dealing with a drop in fire safety visits to vulnerable residents and educational sessions in schools. He said that work with schoolchildren had continued during the Covid lockdowns through online alternatives.

“Going forward, the team has resumed face- to-face visits in schools whilst also offering online inputs so schools have a choice on how they engage,” he said in a written answer to member questions at City Hall.

The London Fire Brigade released this safety advice for smokers after last week’s fire:

• It’s safer to smoke outside, but make sure cigarettes are put right out and disposed of properly.

• Never smoke in bed, and avoid smoking on armchairs and sofas – especially if you think you might fall asleep.

• Use proper ashtrays, which can’t tip over and stub cigarettes out properly.

• Always empty ashtrays carefully. Make sure smoking materials are out, cold and preferably wet them before throwing into a bin – never use a wastepaper basket.

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