[updated March 20th 11 am]
Fire crews rescued six people from 140 Broadhurst Gardens in the early hours of this morning after a fire broke out on the ground floor. Another woman jumped from a first floor window, against the advice of firefighters, and broke her leg.
At around 3am Tuesday, residents were woken by the smoke alarm. Five fire engines were quickly on the scene from West Hampstead and Paddington fire stations. Keith Vardy, one of the residents, said, “We assumed it was the fusebox because the fire started by the front door.” Later, residents understood that it seemed that something had been set alight and put through the letter box although the fire brigade is saying the cause is still under investigation. The fire caused damage to the ground floor.
Fire crews rescued a woman and two men from a first floor window using a ladder and three men were rescued from inside the property. It took an hour and a half to get the fire under control.
The property is a converted house with 15 flats. Residents say that 14 of the 15 flats are currently occupied though the other tenants were not in last night. This morning, the six tenants are still outside the property having been there since 3am. They are not sure where they will be put up tonight and are now waiting for Camden to find them emergency accommodation. The woman who jumped was taken to hospital.
Firefighter Keith Malecki, who was at the scene, said “The building was very smoky when we arrived, but we were able to quickly get in to rescue the people. They were woken up by their smoke alarms going off, which meant they could call the Brigade as soon as they were aware of the fire. The smoke alarms saved their lives.”
CORRECTION: In the original version of this article, we stated that the residents were council tenants with a private landlord. This was incorrect. The residents are not council tenants.