Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters were called to a block of flats in Ilford yesterday, after a boiler caught fire.

Fire crews arrived at the residential block on Ley Street at 5.30am on May 15, after a fire was discovered thanks to alerts from smoke alarms.

It took fire crews less than an hour to get the blaze under control.

A boiler cupboard on the ground floor of a residential block was damaged by fire. There were no reports of any injuries.

It is believed to have started when the water supply to the immersion heater was isolated, leaving the cylinder dry.

The air in the cylinder was then heated, causing surrounding foam insulation to melt and burn.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “The fire was discovered when a smoke alarm in the flat sounded.

"There was smoke in the hallway and a resident opened the door to a cupboard containing an immersion heater and found it filled with smoke.

"They closed the cupboard door and left the property along with four children."

The spokesperson continued: "This incident is another reminder about the importance of having smoke alarms fitted in your home."

LFB advises that there are smoke alarms fitted in every room of a residence where a fire can start, as well as a heat alarms in kitchens and bathrooms.

They should be tested regularly.

The fire was under control by 6.15am.

Fire crews from Ilford, Stratford, Barking and East Ham fire stations attended the scene.