Open fire warning after blaze destroys first floor of Woodford Green house

A firefighter has warned householders to take extra care with open fires in the run-up to christmas after a blaze destroyed the first floor of a Woodford Green home.

Flames engulfed the upstairs bedroom of the semi detached house in Gascoigne Gardens at 6.30pm last night, after a fire was lit in the fireplace on the ground floor.

Six people managed to escape the burning building before fire crews arrived. Smoke and flames gutted a bedroom and caused “serious” damage to the rest of the upper floor.

White Watch manager at Woodford Fire Station, Terry Jays, said: “The lining of the chimney flue had been fallen out, and while the fire was burning nicely downstairs in the hearth, it broke out upstairs, going straight through the wall.

“At this time of year it’s a good idea to make sure all chimneys are properly swept and lined if you are planning to use an open fire.”

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Crews from Woodford and Walthamstow attended the scene, with a secondary crew from Woodford later attending to ensure the fire was fully extinguished.

Mr Jays said firefighters from Woodford Fire Station and across the borough are available to give free fire safety advice and to fit and test smoke alarms.

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