Pensioner’s lucky escape from Camden Town flat fire

PUBLISHED: 16:46 03 September 2015 | UPDATED: 17:59 03 September 2015

Four fire engines rushed to Lewis Street, Camden

Four fire engines rushed to Lewis Street, Camden


A 90-year-old woman had a lucky escape when a blaze raged through her home of more than 50 years.

The burned out flat  in Lewis Street, CamdenThe burned out flat in Lewis Street, Camden

Bridget Connell was not at home at the time, but safe at the nearby Charlie Rachford day centre for the elderly, when the fire broke out at her ground floor flat in Lewis Street.

Neighbour and local campaigner Silla Carron, who raised the alarm, said: “I had no idea if she was inside there. It was a terrible fire. But thank goodness she wasn’t in on her own when it happened. Who knows how she would have got out. It could have been a terrible tragedy.”

Four fire engines and 21 officers were called to tackle the blaze which broke out at around 1:20pm on Wednesday at the flat in Lewis Street Ms Connell shares with her son Maurice Connell, who was also out at the time.

Fire investigators were examining the charred out remains of the flat on the Castle Road estate to see how the blaze started.

The blaze brought back memories for Silla CarronThe blaze brought back memories for Silla Carron

The whole event brought back terrible memories for Ms Carron, whose own flat a few doors along was damaged in an arsonist attack in February.

Ms Carron, who has made national headlines over the past decade for her work in clearing the estate of drug dealing, said: “Back in February an arsonist set fire to a playhouse in the front garden which in turn set fire to my flat. He had used an accelerant to set the fire. Nobody was ever charged. This has brought it all back to me.I hope arsonists haven’t come back again to target the estate again.”

Ms Connell, who has lived in her flat since 1962, was this week being looked after by relatives.

An officer at the scene said: “The fire took hold as there were lots of books and flammable belongings inside.”

A spokesman for London Fire Brigade said the cause of the fire was still under investigation.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Hampstead Highgate Express