Crews rescue woman from fire at homeless hostel in Highgate

A woman was rescued from a homeless centre in Highgate after a fire broke out in a bedroom.

Around 15 firefighters were called to Milton Park at 12.15am on Saturday to reports of a blaze at a hostel run by the charity St Mungo’s.

Neighbours said they were woken by a fire alarm and saw thick black smoke billowing out of a first floor window.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the property, situated at the end of a terrace, and helped a woman trapped inside to safety.

St Mungo’s, which provides emergency shelter to homeless people, confirmed that nobody was hurt in the fire and all eight residents have now moved back into the property.

A neighbour said he woke up to find two fire crews in the street.

He said: “I could smell something like burning so I got up to check that it wasn’t anything in our house. Then there were two massive fire engines outside.

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“There was black smoke but no flames.

“All the St Mungo’s residents were out on the street and people were coming out of their houses just to check.

“It was just that obviously when it is a fire like that and in buildings like this, you worry just how quickly they can move along and your first worry is if anybody is hurt.”

A spokesman from London Fire Brigade said the flames were extinguished by 1am on Sunday and an investigation has been launched into the cause.

Simon Hughes, St Mungo’s area manager for Hackney and Haringey, thanked fire crews for their swift action.

He said: “Thanks to the prompt action of both our own and fire service staff, a small fire in an individual’s room at one of our Highgate projects was contained and quickly put out.

“All eight residents who were home at the time were safely evacuated by staff.

“We are pleased to say all residents have now moved back in.

“We take fire safety very seriously and are very grateful for the support of local fire officers in fire prevention support, as well as in emergency situations.”