A flat in Southwark has been destroyed by a fire after an incense stick on a window sill set curtains alight.
Six engines and around 40 firefighters were called to the four-roomed flat in Galleywall Road at around 5.30am on Friday, July 23.
A man, a woman and a teenager had left the building before London Fire Brigade arrived.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus rescued a man, a woman and two children using fire escape hoods from a fifth floor flat.
Two men, two women and three children where accessed by London Ambulance Service crews on the scene.
The Brigade’s fire investigators believe the fire was accidental.
Fire escape hoods provide up to 15 minutes of protection from four of the main fire gases and can be worn by conscious or unconscious people.
They don’t provide oxygen but temporarily filter toxic smoke to make breathing easier.
The fire was under control by 6.11am.
A London Fire Brigade spokespersons said: “Incense sticks, candles and oil burners are one of the most common causes of fire within homes.
“It’s really important that you never leave these items unattended.
“Make sure you place incense sticks in a suitable, fire-resistant holder and keep them away from curtains and anything else that can easily catch fire.
“Remember to put them out entirely when you leave the room and especially before bed.”
London Fire Brigade also gave three top tips for using candles and incense sticks safely:
• Make sure you put out any candles, incense and oil burners when you leave the room and especially before bed.
• Place candles, incense and oil burners in heat-resistant holders and place them on a stable surface where they won’t be knocked over.
• Keep them away from materials that might catch fire – things like curtains, furniture, clothes and hair.
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