March 9 2014 Latest news:
By Tom Payne
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
An investigation has been launched after a fire broke out in a top floor flat in Hampstead this afternoon.
The fire brigade was called to the converted house in Kidderpore Avenue, off Heath Drive, after one tenant spotted smoke billowing from the roof at 1.12pm.
Five people living in flats inside the house made a lucky escape from the property and no injuries were reported.
Four engines with crews from West Hampstead, Finchley and Kentish Town attended the blaze which quickly engulfed part of the roof and the top floor, and was described as “very difficult” to extinguish.
The fire was finally brought under control shortly after 2pm.
But crews at the scene are still removing roof tiles and inspecting the damaged roof over fears the fire could have spread further than thought.
David Shine, 20, a student, who lives in one of the flats with his mother, was the first person to raise the alarm.
He said: “This is the second time it’s happened to me in two years, although the first time was much worse. It’s a pretty hard time right now.”
His mother, Michelle Shine, said she called the fire brigade after she spotted smoke coming from the roof.
She said: “The fire crews were here within five minutes. I don’t really know how it started, and I don’t really want to speculate at the moment because it’s still under investigation.”
The fire brigade watch manager at the scene said: “All the crews worked really, really hard to deal with it and if we hadn’t of been here quickly it could have done a lot more damage.
“Luckily these people had a smoke alarm which is so important because if something like this happens they’ll be aware of the fire immediately.”
A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said temporary accommodation would be organised for the tenants in the flats while the investigation is ongoing.