Firefighters rescue nine people from early morning blaze at Plaistow block of flats
PUBLISHED: 12:15 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:48 27 January 2020
Nine people were rescued by firefighters after a blaze broke out while people slept at a block of flats in Plaistow.
The fire, which damaged part of a five-room flat on the 11th floor of a 16-storey building in New City Road, started in the early hours of Saturday, January 25.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus led those inside the building to safety after putting fire escape hoods on them to protect from toxic gases and smoke.
One person who was in the affected flat got out of the building before the brigade arrived.
Those rescued were assessed on scene by the London Ambulance Service but no one was taken to hospital.
The brigade was called at 4.41am and had the fire under control by 5.34am.
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Investigators believe the fire was accidental and caused by the unsafe disposal of a cigarette.
A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: "Incidents like this show how important it is to dispose of cigarettes properly.
"It's absolutely vital you ensure your cigarette is completely out when you've finished smoking it.
"If you don't, you risk causing a fire that could not only destroy your home, but also cost you your life."
Fire escape hoods provide up to 15 minutes' protection from four of the main fire gases - carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride and acrolein - and can be worn by conscious or unconscious people.
They do not provide oxygen but temporarily filter toxic smoke to make breathing easier.
Around 40 firefighters from Plaistow, East Ham, Stratford, Poplar, Barking and Leytonstone stations were on scene.