Brigade Warn of Hoarding Fire Risk

Following blaze in cluttered home in Australia Road


London Fire Brigade


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London Fire Brigade is warning of the fire risk posed by hoarding after going to the rescue of an elderly man from a blaze in a heavily cluttered home in Australia Road, Shepherd's Bush.

The man luckily escaped from the property before fire crews from Hammersmith fire station arrived around 5.30am, but was suffering from smoke inhalation and taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.

It took around an hour for the crews to get the fire under control and half of the flat was damaged by the blaze.

The fire took place just hours before fire and care professionals held a summit on May 21 to discuss issues of fires involving vulnerable people.

The seminar hosted at London Fire Brigade headquarters brought together the UKs key care and fire professionals to find solutions to a growing problem. New figures show that a third of people who died in accidental fires in London last year were receiving care services.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: " Thankfully the resident had a working smoke alarm which alerted him to the fire. Without the smoke alarm sounding it could have been a lot worse as the level of hoarding inside the flat could have made it difficult to get out of the smoke filled property had the fire developed further.

" Blazes in cluttered homes can spread like wildfire, putting those who live in them at serious risk of injury or worse and potentially endangering our firefighters who go to tackle them."

To illustrate the dangers, the Brigade have released a video showing the devastating effects of a fire in a hoarders’ home. The film illustrates how quickly a fire can take hold in these conditions. Firefighters tackle two fires a week in hoarders homes and nearly 20 fire deaths in the past three years have had hoarding as a factor.

You can see the video here and read more about the seminar here.


May 26, 2014