Around 40 residents of a block of flats in Thornton Heath had to be evacuated last night when fire raged up the outside of the building.
Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters were called to Crystal Court, on Woodville Road, shortly after 6pm yesterday, and had the blaze under control after little more than an hour.
No one was seriously hurt. Croydon Council staff and local ward councillors were soon in attendance, with residents placed in a hotel overnight.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the London Fire Brigade and the Metropolitan Police.
Crystal Court, which is owned by a housing association, backs on to the Thornton Heath Leisure Centre, which also needed to be evacuated as a precaution.
According to the London Fire Brigade, part of two flats on the first and third floors of the building were damaged by the fire.
A shed, a storage box and surrounding fencing and decking at the rear of a first floor flat were destroyed by the blaze. A small part of the exterior of the building was also damaged by fire.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus assisted one woman from a flat on the third floor to safety who was assessed on scene by London Ambulance Service crews. There were no reports of any injuries.
Station Commander Matt Williams, who was at the scene, said: “Crews worked extremely hard to bring the fire under control quickly and stop it from spreading to the rest of the building.”
Thornton Heath councillor Callton Young, who was soon at the scene together with colleague Karen Jewitt, said, “When fire leapt up the side of Crystal Court, my heart was in my mouth.
“It is a relief that all residents are safe. Special thanks go to Croydon Council staff who did a splendid job organising overnight accommodation for residents, including a pet cat.”
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