Fundraisers set up to help Brandon Estate residents after serious blaze as LFB says most likely cause is ‘cigarette discarded from upper floor”

Katherine Johnston (29 June, 2020)

A flat has been completely destroyed

37507Firefighters at the scene (c) Tom Lloyd

Fundraisers have been set up to support families affected by a tower block fire in Camberwell’s Brandon Estate as the London Fire Brigade say a cigarette thrown from above is the most likely cause. 

Huge plumes of smoke were coming from the block in the Brandon Estate (c) Warren Fallon

Two fundraising pages have been set up – one by TRA chair Tom Lloyd for the household whose home has been destroyed, and another by Amanda Srivastava on behalf of community organisation Us Group, which has members based on the estate.

“We know that there  will be many families affected by the damage and unable to replace basic essentials,” she explained.

“During this pandemic life is difficult for many of us – which is why it’s so important that we come together to support the local community who are now facing even more hardship due to this fire.”

Around 100 people evacuated their homes on Otto Street on the afternoon of Saturday, June 27, after a serious blaze in a first floor flat.

There are no reports of any injuries, but the whole flat in the estate’s Walters House was completely damaged. 

Sixty firefighters rushed to the scene, which caused scenes of thick black smoke to be seen from the surrounding area.

Thirteen adults and five children were treated at the scene by paramedics as a precaution.

The brigade took sixty 999 calls about the fire in the early stages, before it was brought under control at around 1.17pm.


Firefighters now believe a cigarette thrown from a floor above is the most likely cause, after coming into contact with material stored on the balcony which quickly set alight.

“Fires caused by smoking materials including cigarettes, roll-ups, cigars and pipes, result in more deaths than any other type of fire,” said fire station commander Ned Alexander. 

The brigade has appealed for residents to always stub cigarettes out properly, dispose of them carefully and make sure smoking materials are cold before emptying ashtrays – preferably wetting stubs before they are binned.

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