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South Kensington fire: Eleven in hospital after blaze rips through terraced house

Around 130 people were evacuated during the fire at the converted terraced house in Emperor’s Gate in South Kensington in London

John Besley,Alex Ross
Friday 01 March 2024 08:45 GMT
The fire broke out in the ground floor of the property in Emperor’s Gate before spreading to the top floor
The fire broke out in the ground floor of the property in Emperor’s Gate before spreading to the top floor (London Fire Brigade)

Eleven people were taken to hospital after a fire ripped through a terraced house in an upmarket neighbourhood in South Kensington in London.

Around 130 people were evacuated when the blaze broke out in the ground floor of the converted property in Emperor’s Gate just after midnight on Friday morning.

The fire quickly spread to the top floor of the property and into the roof, said London Fire Brigade, which sent 15 fire engines and 100 firefighters to the incident.

Two people were rescued by firefighters from a second floor flat, one person from a first floor flat and another two from a flat on the fourth floor.

Firefighters battle the blaze inside the terraced house in South Kensington (London Fire Brigade)

Dramatic pictures showed flames coming from the top of the building as water jets were fired into the burning roof.

Posting on X, London Fire Brigade said 11 people had been treated at the scene for smoke insulation before being taken to “London hospitals and major trauma centres”.

Station Commander Steve Collins said: “The fire has spread from the ground floor to the top floor and roof of the property. Crews worked extremely hard to contain the (fire) to stop it spreading to adjacent buildings.

Eleven people were taken to hospital with more than 130 people evacuated from thebuilding (London Fire Brigade)

“Road closures are in place and likely to remain well into the morning rush hour so motorists are advised to avoid the area. However, there is no impact on rail services and they will be running as normal.”

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea said council staff were providing assistance at a nearby hotel where residents were being sheltered.

Deputy leader councillor Kim Taylor-Smith said: “We are on the ground and providing support and accommodation to residents impacted.

“I also want to thank the emergency services for the incredible job they have done in very challenging conditions, and to staff at the council who have sprung into action in the middle of the night.”

London Fire Brigade said it was called to the blaze at 00.31am, before the fire was brought under control at 4.40am. Fire crews from Kensington, Fulham, Battersea, Hammersmith, Chelsea, North Kensington and surrounding fire stations attended.

London Ambulance Service sent a helicopter, ambulance crews, paramedics in response cars, advanced paramedics, operational managers and members of its Hazardous Area Response Team to the scene.

“We treated eleven patients and took them to London hospitals and major trauma centres,” a spokesperson said.

On Friday morning, Cromwell Road between Ashburn Place and Gloucester Road was closed with emergency services at the scene.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

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