Firefighters use fire escape hoods
Firefighters use fire escape hoods to rescue residents from West Drayton fire
Firefighters rescued nine people after they became trapped by smoke when a fire started in the lobby area of their block of flats on Knowles Close in West Drayton.
Around half of the ground floor communal area was damaged by fire.
The Brigade’s 999 control officers gave fire survival guidance to five residents who were unable to leave their flats because of the level of smoke in the communal areas. Residents were told to remain in their flats, open a window and firefighters were aware of them.
Hillingdon Station Watch Manager Gary Saunders, who was at the scene, said: “The fire is believed to have started under the ground floor communal stairwell and generated a lot of thick black smoke in the lobby and corridors.
“Fire crews worked quickly to bring the fire under control and ventilate the building to clear the smoke.
“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus then used fire escape hoods to rescue three of the first floor’s residents who required to be led to safety and receive treatment.”
Fire escape hoods provide members of the public with up to 15 minutes protection from four of the main fire gases (carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride and acrolein) and can be worn by conscious or unconscious people. If more than 15 minutes protection is required then another hood can be given to each wearer. They do not provide oxygen but temporarily filter toxic smoke to make breathing easier.
A further six people were via the internal staircase.
One resident was rescued via a ladder from the third floor.
Ten people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, of which two men, two women and a child were taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.
The Brigade was called at 2307 and the fire was under control at 0046. Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters from Hillingdon, Hayes, Heathrow, Southall, and Feltham fire stations attended the scene.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Brigade and Metropolitan Police Service.