Sleeping residents "lucky" to be alive after electrical fire in Battersea
Three sleeping Battersea residents were "lucky" to escape with their lives after being dramatically rescued from a smoke-filled flat by firefighters following an electrical fire.
Just after midnight last night (October 18) a fuse box, or consumer unit, in the property in Lavender Sweep overheated and then melted causing plumes of thick, acrid smoke to fill up the flat.
But a neighbour's fire alarm went off and within minutes firefighters managed to force entry into the flat.
The trio of residents, who were asleep at the time, awoke to find their rooms black with fumes.
The firefighters, wearing breathing apparatus, were able to find the residents and escort them to safety.
The fire itself was under control with 40 minutes and 95 per cent of the property was saved.
Nigel Jenkins, watch manager at Battersea Fire Station, said the occupants of the flat were "extremely lucky" because they were asleep when the fire broke out.
He said: "It was caused by an electrical defect within the circuit breakers on the main consumer unit to the flat.
"Firefighters in breathing apparatus alerted the three residents, who were asleep at the time, and escorted them to safety before cutting off the power supply and making the appliance safe."
"The occupants had actually arranged for an electrician to come round and 8am the following morning because the consumer unit.
"So much smoke was being produced that it actually snuffed out the oxygen and prevented the fire from catching alight.
"They were unbelievably lucky."
Two fire engines from Battersea and Clapham fire stations attended the scene.
Mr Jenkins also warned people to pay attention to the behaviour of sockets, plugs and lights because they can provide vital clues of a future fire.
He said: "Key clues that repairs might be needed include, flickering lights and plug sockets not working."
Firefighters from red watch at Battersea Fire Station would like to remind you that by following these simple rules it will help keep your home safe from fire.
• At night turn off and unplug all electrical appliance except those that are meant to be permanently left on (like videos and fridge's
• Always make sure that the electrical appliance has the correct fuse (use a 3 amp fuse for equipment up to 720 watts and a 13 amp fuse for equipment over 720 watts)
• Avoid multi-way adapters. Overloading an electric socket can cause overheating and fire
• Don't run extension leads or cables under carpets
• Look out for warning signs of dangerous wiring like hot plugs or sockets, fuses that blow for no obvious reason, lights that flicker and brown scorch marks on sockets or plugs.
• If you see any of these warning signs ask a qualified electrician to check your wiring.