Croydon: Families flee homes after huge fire rips through flats | UK News

Fire crews rushed to Whitehorse Road in Croydon early Wednesday evening (Picture: PA/London Fire Brigade)

Dozens of people had to flee their homes after a huge blaze ripped through a block of flats in south London.

Fire crews rushed to Whitehorse Road in Croydon after the first four floors of a five-storey building were engulfed in flames.

Allan Brown, 44, who lives and works nearby and witnessed the fire, said: ‘From where I was standing, which was quite close at one point, many residents, including children, could be seen running from the building’s lower floor, with some residents trying to get back into the building.

‘This was before the fire department arrived with the first two engines. There were residents leaving the building and trying to get back into it, but the blaze was very high.

‘We had to clear the area due (to) the smoke that filled the area. In total there was six fire engines and various amounts of police and ambulance in the scene within five minutes.’

A spokesman for the London Fire Brigade (LFB), who were alerted to the incident at 5.03pm, said: ‘The cause of the fire is not yet known.’

Around 60 firefighters were scrambled to deal with the fire on the first, second, third and fourth floors of a five-storey block of flats (Picture: PA)
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) were alerted to the incident at 5.03pm (Picture: Twitter/@queenreen1st)
Around 80 people fled the block (Picture: London Fire Brigade/Twitter)

Station commander Chris Young, who is at the scene, said: ‘Around 80 people left the building.

‘Road closures are expected to be in place for a number of hours this evening and we’re urging people to avoid the local area.’

A London Ambulance Service spokesman, who said an ambulance crew, an incident response officer and members of a hazardous area response team were sent to the incident, added: ‘We treated a man and a woman at the scene but did not take anyone to hospital.’

The LFB received over 30 calls about the fire.

Fire crews from Croydon, Woodside, Wallington and surrounding fire stations were sent to the scene.

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