Bird carrying lit cigarette to bed blamed for London fire

Fire officers believed a bird pinched a smoking hot butt and brought it back to its nest
  • @FelicityMorse

A bird flying off with a smouldering cigarette in its beak has been blamed for starting a fire at a building in South London

London fire brigade were initially baffled by the blaze, which saw nine people evacuated from a building in Landor Road, Stockwell. The roof of the building was particularly damaged but no one was hurt.

However upon investigation, fire examination officer Matt Cullen discovered a partially burnt bird's nest, and believed a bird pinching a smoking hot butt was to blame.

He said: “When we got up into the roof, we were baffled as there were no obvious ignition sources – no one had been up to there for a long time and there were no electrics that could have sparked a blaze. We looked everywhere, but the smoking gun was found when we discovered a partially burnt birds nest.

"Neighbours told us they often saw birds flying in and out of a hole in the roof. We believe that one of the birds picked up a cigarette butt that was still smouldering and dropped it into the nest, causing it to catch fire and set the roof alight."

Richard Scroggs, who runs The Old Post Office Bakery told the BBC: "Smokers. What can you say? I'm glad I gave up."