Carelessly discarded cigarette believed to have caused fire at block of flats in Bethnal Green
- Credit: Archant
A carelessly thrown away cigarette is thought to have been the cause of a fire at a block of flats in Bethnal Green on Wednesday.
Fire investigators said they think the cigarette ignited combustible materials stored on a fifth-floor balcony at Kinsham House in Ramsey Street.
Residents living in the 10-storey block were forced to flee their homes as the fire engulfed the fifth and sixth floor.
Crews from Whitechapel, Dowgate, Islington and Kentish Town fire stations fought the blaze which broke out just after 2.20pm.
It was put out just over an hour later.
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Supermarket security guard Abdul Gulaid and family had to make their way through the smoke on the fifth floor when the fire broke out at the split level maisonette two doors from their home.
He said: “The smoke was bad. It was dark and thick.
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“But everyone got out quickly.”
The blaze is the seventh fire in London which has been caused by smoking in under three weeks.
A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “We would rather people didn’t smoke at all but if they do, vaping is a safer option.
“If you do choose to smoke cigarettes, it is 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.”