A woman raised “serious” fire safety concerns over her newly built block of flats after a lift was shut down for hours when a smoker triggered a fire alarm.

Smoke in the communal stairwell triggered an automatic fire alarm at Antony Grey Court, in Maitland Park Estate, Haverstock, on January 14.

Tenant Marlene Levoy came home from walking her dog at 4.30pm to find an alarm beeping but not fully sounding.

When she tried the lift it was not working, so she called the fire brigade – not realising the automatic alarm had already alerted them.

When firefighters arrived, they could not stop outside because of cars parked in the way and had to carry their equipment to the end of the block.

Then the brigade could not reset the alarm system and get the lift working again as they did not have a code. Camden Council officers did not come to fix it until 11pm.

Marlene added: "The whole incident was very serious and very worrying."

A Camden Council spokesperson said: “The fire safety system in the building responded as it is designed to do, by opening automatic vents in the stairwell, deactivating the lifts, and sounding a smoke detection alarm with a beeping sound.

“This is different to a fire alarm that would trigger a recognisable ringing alarm throughout the entire building including in residents’ homes."

They said the council operates a “stay put” policy in its residential buildings in the event of fire and reminded residents not to smoke in hallways and communal areas.

They thanked residents for their patience while the alarm was reset.

The council said the vehicles parked outside the block were in spaces allocated to blue badge owners.

London Fire Brigade said they found no fire but did not comment on access issues.