Two rescued as fires strike properties in Poplar and Mile End

Two men had to be rescued from a burning block of flats in Poplar in the early hours of Friday morning in one of two fires in the East End in recent days.

The fire struck a restaurant and the flats in West India Dock Road in Poplar, with several properties affected by smoke damage.

Almost 20 firefighters from Poplar, Millwall and Shadwell fire stations attended the scene in four engines, with the blaze being brought under control within around half an hour.

Crew manager Charlee Barclay said: “Crews wearing breathing apparatus rescued two men who were trapped by smoke in the flats above the restaurant, and six other people evacuated themselves from the floors above. Crews did well to contain the fire swiftly and prevent it from spreading.”

A further fire was attended by crews in Mile End on Sunday evening after a blaze in the basement of a terraced house caused a man to suffer burns to his leg requiring hospital treatment.

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The man is thought to have left some cooking to have a shower. When he realised a fire had broken out he spilled hot oil on his leg before attempting to put the fire out with water.

Watch manager Les McKay warned afterwards: “You should never put water on a hot oil fire as it causes the oil to be thrown from the pan, which can cause injuries and make the fire spread. Also never leave your cooking unattended it’s very dangerous and can cost you your life or your home.”

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The blaze was under control 35 minutes after the brigade was called.

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