UPDATE: ‘Cigarette’ to blame for Ilford guesthouse fire

A fire which ripped through an Ilford guest house in the early hours of this morning was caused by a cigarette, early investigations have revealed.

Three people and a baby were rescued from the Ferndale Hotel, Mansfield Road, Ilford at about 12.45am.

The young child was passed to firefighters from a first floor window.

A further three people had left the building before fire crews arrived at the scene.

The London Fire Bridge has now said the fire appeared to be started as the result of the “careless disposal” of a cigarette, adding “smokers – always make sure your cigarettes are completely out.”

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One firefighter said: “The place was well alight, and the roof too. We had a register of people supposed to be in the building and there were people we couldn’t find so it all took a while.”

He added: “We left at about 3am.”

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Crews donned breathing apparatus to lead more residents to safety via an internal staircase, and another man was reportedly found with lacerations to his wrists after smashing a downstairs window in an attempt to rescue trapped occupants trapped.

Around half of the first floor plus the roof was damaged by the fire.

Three ambulance crews and one car-based paramedic treated six people at the scene.

Four people were taken to Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone suffering smoke inhalation and one with hand injuries.

Another person was taken to Queen’s Hospital, Romford.

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