Search

West Hampstead fire: Police investigate suspected arson attack after woman jumps from burning house

18:22 18 March 2014

Firefighters at the scene of the fire in Broadhurst Gardens this morning

Firefighters at the scene of the fire in Broadhurst Gardens this morning

Archant

Police are investigating a suspected arson attack at a converted house in West Hampstead - after a woman jumped from a window of the burning building as fire ransacked the ground floor.

Residents escaped the fire at the converted house in Broadhurst GardensResidents escaped the fire at the converted house in Broadhurst Gardens

The woman suffered injuries, believed to be a broken leg, as she plunged from the first floor of a property containing 15 flats in Broadhurst Gardens at about 3am this morning.

Firefighters arrived to find residents screaming and shouting for help as flames blocked the front door.

“I awoke to the fire alarm and there was a stench of burning plastic,” said Keith Vardy, 46, who lives in one of 15 flats inside the building.

“There was smoke bellowing through the house and the front door was bright orange with fire.

Police closed off the house to investigate possible arsonPolice closed off the house to investigate possible arson

“I’m on the ground floor so I could jump out the window but one poor woman on the first floor had to jump out a back window - which is a long fall.”

Fire crews rescued another six people, leading a woman and two men to safety by ladder from the first floor and using breathing apparatus to help three men who were trapped inside the property

All six were treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighter Keith Malecki, who was at the scene, said: “They were woken up by their smoke alarms going off, which saved their lives.

“If you have a fire, especially in the middle of the night, it could be the difference between life and death.”

The fire appeared to start close to the door - leading police to suspect arson.

It was under control by 4.30am and its cause is under investigation.

Related articles

Latest News Stories

08:00
Tutor Terri Murray, with former students Kain Egan and Mabel Evans at Hampstead Fine Arts College. Picture: Polly Hancock

Two former Belsize Park pupils are set to launch the UK’s first billboard advertising campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM).

Yesterday, 20:35
Geoffrey Lederman leaving Blackfriers Crown Court after an earlier court hearing. Picture: Dieter Perry

A pensioner who killed a young mother in front of her husband and toddler after careering onto a pavement in his vintage Mercedes has had his jail term cut by a third - after top judges decided to show him “mercy”.

Yesterday, 23:37
Nurses and midwives form a picket line outside the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead during industrial action last October. Picture: Polly Hancock

Planned strike action by health workers in a row over NHS pay has been suspended after a breakthrough in talks.

Yesterday, 18:16
Marina Litvinenko outside the Royal Courts of Justice. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The murder of Alexander Litvinenko was an “act of nuclear terrorism on streets of a major city”, the barrister for his widow said at the opening of a public inquiry into his death eight years ago.

Most read news

Fans of cool pictures of fire – this one’s for you.

Have you noticed lots of ladies with smudged lippie on social media lately? Find out why they’re deliberately committing a make-up faux pas.

Emergency declared as blizzard is expected to dump up to 24 inches of snow.

With 100 days to go until the General Election we decided to give it a try.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder