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Students flee after night-time smoke bomb is set off

PUBLISHED: 18:57 30 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:44 05 October 2010

POLICE are investigating a smoke bomb' incident at dawn today when yobs pushed a firework through a letterbox of a house where students were asleep. The students were woken up at 5am (Thursday) when smoke filled a three-storey premises used for accommodation by the London University's Queen Mary College in East London

Mike Brooke

POLICE are investigating a smoke bomb’ incident at dawn today when yobs pushed a firework through a letterbox of a house where students were asleep.

The students were woken up at 5am (Thursday) when smoke filled a three-storey premises used for accommodation by the London University’s Queen Mary College in East London.

They fled into the street as emergency fire crews responding to automatic fire-alarms arrived at the terraced building in Bancroft Road, opposite the college campus at Mile End.

“This could have led to serious injury if the students hadn’t been evacuated in time,” said Fire Brigade senior watch manager Martin Warrilow.

“They were all asleep, but were thankfully woken up by the sound of the smoke detector.

“It could have ended in tragedy—the smoke bomb firework could have set light to newspapers or curtains behind the letterbox which would have trapped those upstairs in the house.”

Firefighters in breathing apparatus searched the premises, but found no-one left inside.

Police later appealed for witnesses who may have been in Bancroft Road at 5am and saw anything suspicious.

The London Fire Brigade this week has issued safety guidelines for next Wednesday’s Guy Fawkes bonfire night, the busiest night of the year for the emergency services.

It also advises householders to make sure their properties are fitted with automatic fire detectors—which it points out almost certainly prevented tragedy in this-morning’s smoke bomb incident.

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