A man has spoken out about his harrowing experience after a fire broke out at the foot of a residential block in Streatham last week (June 23).

Sarbaz Barznji was in an adjoining building when a fire broke out in a garage on Baldry Gardens in Streatham around 3.27am.

As reported previously, firefighters eventually managed to control the fire.

Sarbaz and 12 others, including five children, evacuated from the building as the fire crews battled the blaze.

Speaking with the Croydon Guardian, the south London man described his initial reaction to the fire and thoughts as he saw smoke billowing out below him.

"I was sleeping and woke up to the sound of an explosion...when I got up I looked through the window and saw thick clouds of smoke going through the building. I dialled 999 and told them what happened.

"Then when I put the phone down I called the neighbours, one them have a little toddler," Sarbaz said.

Wandsworth Times: Photograph taken by Sarbaz during the fire. Photograph taken by Sarbaz during the fire.

In the confusion and urgency caused by the fire, as smoke billowed around them, Sarbaz's neighbour then communicated that his wife was still in the building.

"He run out of the building with his little toddler and because the smoke was so thick he was shouting 'please get my wife!'

"At that point I wasn't really thinking how serious the smoke could be, I had never experienced it before. It was so thick. Because I knew the building I went through the stairs and started kicking the door.

"I wasn't able to see anything and I ran out, I put by phone torch on, and ran back into the smoke again. While I was going back on the stairs I started having difficulty breathing so I had to go back out.

"The lady managed to get out as well, she fell down the stairs and was injured but the neighbours grabbed her and got her out safely," Sarbaz described.

Wandsworth Times: Aftermath of the fire. Image: Sarbaz BarznjiAftermath of the fire. Image: Sarbaz Barznji

Thankfully, the emergency first responders arrived soon after and began their working controlling the blaze.

Sarbaz, who'd now reached the relative safety of the street, said he initially felt OK but was assessed by one of the firefighters attending.

Though he felt alright at first, they told him he needed to go to hospital. He and one of the children to escape the fire were transferred to Kings College Hospital.

While en route, however, Sarbaz's body started to react to the dangerous impact of the smoke he had inhaled while attempting to save the woman from the fire.

"In the ambulance, I started feeling sick and was throwing up black charcoal. They were trying to stabilise me and gave me high pressure oxygen and fluids. All the doctors were around me," he said.

Sarbaz was later told that due to the smoke inhalation, oxygen wasn't getting to his muscles and that muscle breakdown was occurring.

At Kings College Hospital, he was given oxygen and kept there for treatment while medics assessed the damage.

He was eventually told that he had suffered damage to his kidneys due to the smoke inhalation.

Wandsworth Times: Sarbaz BarznjiSarbaz Barznji

Thankfully, the south London man is expected to make a full recovery.

He described his feelings about the harrowing experience.

"When I saw the smoke I was just thinking of how many people were stuck in there. I didn't know how serious it was.

"I'm still a bit traumatised. You do not wish anyone to go through this. It's very scary. But when someone's life is at risk, your human instinct tells you to do something.

"In that moment your brain makes many calculations. You cannot let people die... Thankfully no-one did.

Sarbaz said he recalled the Grenfell fire, which occurred almost precisely four years ago, when he saw the fire.

Days later, walking through the corridors that are now blackened with smoke is still traumatising.

The south London man praised the work of the first responders health workers who helped him and all the other survivors.

"They did an incredible job. The firefighters actually gave us first aid, they were trained so well and acted very professionally.

"Knowing that the community is there to help you is really amazing. Encouraging and helping each other is what we need."