A pan of oil left on an electric hob is believed to have caused the fire which swept through an Aylesbury Estate flat this week – with firefighters saying that the blaze was made worse by the resident trying to tackle it themselves.
The fire broke out on a split-level flat on the fourth and fifth floors of the fifteen-story block on Thurlow Street in Walworth at 10.42am on Monday, September 24.
The brigade has now revealed investigators believe the cause of the fire was an electric hob being accidentally switched on and then igniting a pan filled with oil.
A spokesperson said: “This incident shows how important it is to never leave cooking unattended.
“If you do have to leave the house, always make sure you turn the heat off before you do.
“It is also a timely reminder to people never to try and tackle a fire yourself – as the occupant in this incident discovered the fire and attempted to remove the pan to the balcony, which spread the fire throughout the property.
“Our message if a fire breaks out is simple – get out, stay out and call 999. Never try and tackle it yourself.”
As the News reported, the family were safely out the property before firefighters arrived after a Divine Rescue food bank food bank volunteer raced upstairs after seeing the blaze and kicked down their door.
His friend, Mike Briscoe, told the News: “We were on the grass having a chat when we looked up and saw this billowing smoke coming from out of the flats.
“There were more and more smoke and flames – and then the screaming started.
“It only took a moment of screaming and Harry went straight upstairs as I rang 999.
He continued: “I myself ran into the building and saw smoke coming down the stairs and just managed to get up the first few when I could hear crackling of the fire.
“Harry had to kick the door down to get them out – and even though he is asthmatic he went upstairs again to check everyone was out.
“The ambulance and the brigade came and said he should get an award – but he told them he didn’t do it for that.
“I’m so proud of him for doing what he did.”
In a formal statement the London Fire Brigade said: “One woman and two children left the property before the brigade arrived.
“They were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by London ambulance service crews and taken to hospital.
“Another man was also treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.”
The brigade says it received sixteen calls to the blaze.
Six engines and around 40 firefighters from Old Kent Road, Peckham, Dockhead, Brixton, Dowgate and Whitechapel rushed to the scene – and had the incident under control by 11.22am.