Camden News - by PAUL KEILTHY Published: 31 July 2008
Scene of the blaze
Children saved as flat blazes
TWO children under eight were rescued by neighbours as flames tore through a Dartmouth Park flat on Monday night in a suspected arson attack. The pair, a brother and sister reportedly aged four and seven, were led through neighbouring flats after escaping along connecting balconies at the block in Chester Road.
A man and woman were still in the fourth- floor maisonette when fire crews arrived shortly after midnight. They were rescued from the flat by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus.
One Chester Road resident said: “There was smoke pouring out of the upper floor of the flat and the two children were let down onto the balcony. I think he [the male occupant of the flat] let them down with a ladder. “They were obviously very scared, just in their pants, the little boy with his glasses. One of the neighbours climbed over and took them into their flat, made sure they were safe. When the fire brigade came they had to break down the door.”
The blackened entrance to the council flat, at the rear of the block opposite Highgate Library, was under police guard throughout Tuesday, while police and fire brigade gathered evidence.
A London Fire Brigade spokesman said yesterday (Wednesday): “The fire damaged part of the first floor of the two-floor maisonette and all four people were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation.”
* A 35-year-old woman was charged with arson yesterday (Wednesday) at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.