Elderly couple led to safety from Highgate Road flat blaze
Firefighters warn of the dangers of hoarding papers and books
Published: 13 October 2011
by PAVAN AMARA
AN elderly couple escaped when fire gutted a top-floor flat conversion in Kentish Town.
The couple were treated for smoke inhalation at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead but an ambulance team said they had made a full recovery.
There were builders helping them out of the flat because they lived on the top floor. It was the workmen who calmed them down a lot before the ambulance arrived.”The blaze, which damaged the top floor and part of the roof, took an hour to bring under control.
“It was made worse because there were lots of belongings inside the flat apparently,” said Nick Gordon, who lives opposite.
“The neighbours weren’t evacuated.
In fact, at one point when the firefighters were in full swing trying to sort it out and it looked like something out of a film, a neighbour next door actually slammed shut a window and carried on watching the telly. Maybe he just wanted some peace and quiet.”
Fire station manager John Lalor said: “Crews worked exceptionally well to stop the fire from spreading throughout the four-storey building.
There was a huge amount of papers, magazines and books, which meant crews couldn’t stand up properly in the flat.
“People should try to avoid hoarding this material as it increases the chances of having a fire in the first place and intensifies the spread of fire if one does occur.”