Firefighters have issued a warning after a man was taken to hospital having been rescued from a house fire in Tooting, thought to have been caused by a cigarette.
Three fire engines and around 15 firefighters were called to reports of a flat on fire in Longley road at around 4.30pm on Monday (March 30).
A spokesman said: "Part of a three-roomed flat on the top floor of the three-storey building was damaged by fire.
"Smoke alarms fitted within the flat sounded and raised the alarm, alerting the resident to the fire.
"Firefighters led one man to safety from the first floor landing via an internal staircase.
"He was treated on scene by London Ambulance Service crews and taken to hospital."
The fire was brought under control in just under an hour.
The brigade's fire investigators believe the fire was caused by the unsafe disposal of smoking materials, with the statement continuing to urge people to ensure discarded cigarettes are stubbed out correctly.
The following advice was also issued:
-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 arm chairs and sofas – especially if you think you might fall asleep.
- Take extra care when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs or if you’ve been drinking alcohol.
- Use proper ashtrays, which can’t tip over and stub cigarettes out properly.
- Don't balance cigars or cigarettes on the edge of an ashtray, or anything else – they can tip and fall as they burn away and cause a fire.
- Don’t leave lit pipes or cigarettes unattended.
- 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.
- Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach, and buy child resistant lighters.
- Never smoke if you use healthcare equipment like medical oxygen or an air flow pressure relief mattress. If you use paraffin-based emollient creams, ask for non-flammable alternatives instead.
- Consider additional safety measures such as fire retardant bedding or nightwear.
Photo credit: London Fire Brigade