Blaze destroys £4m Kensington mansion that was under renovation

Mother and her daughter are pulled to safety as firefighters try to contain the fire

Click to follow
The Independent Online

More than 70 firefighters have tackled a huge blaze which engulfed a £4m mansion in one of the capital's most prestigious neighbourhoods.

A woman and her daughter were pulled to safety after fleeing into a neighbour's garden in Campden Grove, Kensington, a street where the average house is value at £2.5 million.

Both the woman and her daughter escaped uninjured.

Video footage of the incident shows large flames enveloping the whole of the three-storey house while thick plumes of black smoke rose high into the sky.

All three floors of the property were on alight, creating smoke plumes so high that people took to Twitter to say they could see the fire as far as Heathrow Airport.

The house was left gutted by the fire, while the roofs of two neighbouring properties were also damaged.

Private equity banker Alasdair Nagle, whose home adjoins the house where the fire was, said the property was being renovated from "top to bottom" since September 2012.

He told the Daily Mail: "They are renovating all three floors, putting in a new basement and a new roof. It is costing them a huge amount of money.

"We woke up shortly after 6am. The fire had taken hold very quickly and was burning strongly. There was smoke coming into the house."

It took ten fire engines and 72 firefighters four hours to get the fire under control at 10:30am.

What caused the fire is not known at this stage and crews were expected to remain at the scene for some time damping down any remaining hot spots and carrying out salvage work.

London Fire Brigade station manager Rhodri Horton said: "When crews arrived they were faced with a rapidly developing fire affecting the whole of a three-storey house under refurbishment.

"Firefighters worked really hard to bring the fire under control and to prevent it from spreading to neighbouring properties.

"A mother and a daughter from one of the houses next door escaped into their garden. Fire crews used a ladder to get them over a fence and away to safety. Thankfully they were both uninjured."