Woman fights for life after fireball in basement garage of prestigious London apartments


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The Independent Online

A woman was today fighting for her life after being engulfed by a fireball as she attempted to escape a burning car in the garage of a block of flats in London.

The incident happened in the basement under Dorset House in Marylebone Road near Baker Street tube station - where apartments sell for over £1 million. 

More than 150 residents were forced to evacuate the art deco building after smoke filled the lobby.

One worker told the Evening Standard: “Everyone had to get out. You could see the smoke coming through so it was worrying, especially with the petrol station so near.”

Police are currently investigating the incident and said CCTV cameras caught her driving into the garage before the vehicle caught fire.

The woman who is thought to be in her fifties has not been named. She was found on a stairwell ground floor level of the NCP car park.

Basit Usman, 20, who had only moved into Dorset House earlier in the day, told the Evening Standard: "It was my first night here so I had no idea what was going on. I just threw on whatever I could and ran down.

"I could smell the smoke, so that panicked me  and I got out as quick as I could. The whole of Gloucester Place was full of people waiting for the commotion to end."

The Grade II-listed Dorset House was built in 1934 and contains 208 flats with prices ranging from £500,000 to £1 million.