London SE1 community website

Warning over portable heaters after Bermondsey fire

London SE1 website team

12 people were evacuated when a fire broke out at Townsend House in Strathnairn Street, Bermondsey, on Sunday afternoon.

Warning over portable heaters after Bermondsey fire
Photo: Eddie Langdown

Ten people left the flat before the arrival of the fire brigade and were suffering from smoke inhalation.

A man and a woman also left two neighbouring flats before the arrival of the Brigade and were treated by the London Ambulance Service for smoke inhalation.

Half of the four-room flat on the third floor was damaged by fire.

The fire is believed to have been caused by clothes being left too close to a halogen heater.

"Shockingly, over two thirds of fatal fires involving heaters are caused by clothing or furniture being too close," said a London Fire Brigade spokesperson.

"People need to make sure their portable heaters are standing upright and kept well away from clothes, curtains or furniture.

"Portable heaters should never be used to dry clothes or placed too close to bedding."

Six fire engines and 35 firefighters and officers from Dockhead, Deptford, Peckham, New Cross, Shadwell and Brixton fire stations attended the incident.

The SE1 website is supported by people like you
We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

News archive from February 1999 to January 2001
Got a story for us?
Contact us with your tip-offs and story ideas.