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Holy smoke: Cigarette suspected as Bethnal Green church fire cause

PUBLISHED: 15:33 19 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:33 19 February 2018

Bethnal Green's Church of Victory at The Oval, off Hackney Road. Picture: Mike Brooke

Bethnal Green's Church of Victory at The Oval, off Hackney Road. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

Flames which damaged part of a church in Bethnal Green were caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette, London Fire Brigade (LFB) believe.

Four fire engines and 21 firefighters took around an hour and a half to control the blaze at Place of Victory church which gutted part of the ground floor.

Crews were called to The Oval shortly after 5.30am on Saturday after a passer-by spotted flames coming from a hatch leading to a basement at the rear of the converted industrial unit.

Attending fire crews from Bethnal Green, Shoreditch, Whitechapel and Homerton fire stations found the building unoccupied on arrival.

They suspect the “unsafe disposal of smoking materials” like a match or cigarette caused the fire.

Following the incident, LFB has issued safety advice for smokers reminding them to install smoke alarms in regularly-used rooms, including hallways, never smoke in bed, and ensure fags are stubbed out properly.

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