Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Occupants left homeless following fire in roof space

Church Hill, Loughton
05/08/2022 @ 23:03
Incident Number: 174928
In attendance: 1 x Loughton, 1 x Waltham Abbey, 1 x LFB

Firefighters were called to a fire in a property in Loughton at 11:03pm, when a fire started on the third floor.

On arrival, crews confirmed that there was a fire in the roof space and worked quickly to extinguish it by 12:27am.

Unfortunately, the roof suffered significant damage and the occupants have sadly been left homeless.

Crew Manager at Loughton, Andrew Stone, said “We’re urging smokers to ensure their cigarettes are properly extinguished. A lit cigarette can cause fires which can spread quickly.

"Thanks to London Fire Brigade for their assistance last night. The crews did a great job to contain the fire and prevent additional damage to the property. Fortunately nobody was injured, but incidents like these really highlight how important it is to extinguish cigarettes properly.”

These simple steps can help prevent a cigarette fire in the home: 

  • Never smoke in bed. Take care when you’re tired – it’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight 
  • Never smoke when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your lit cigarette starts a fire you could be less able to escape
  • Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished 
  • Never leave lit cigarettes, or other smoking materials unattended – they can easily overbalance as they burn down
  • Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn
  • It's safer to smoke outside, but make sure cigarettes are put right out and disposed of properly
  • Never smoke if you use healthcare equipment like medical oxygen or an air flow pressure relief mattress. If you use paraffin-based emollient creams, ask for non-flammable alternatives instead. If you or someone else you care for continues to smoke, then consider additional safety measures such as fire retardant bedding or nightwear
  • A lot of people make the switch from smoking to vaping, but even vaping has fire safety risks - the risks around vaping tend to come from counterfeit or faulty products, and poor charging practices 
  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it monthly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999

Do you have working smoke alarms in your home?

Smoke alarms save lives. They can alert you and your family to a fire in your home, giving you enough time to escape safely.

If you or someone you know doesn’t have working smoke alarms, please get in touch. Visit or call 0300 303 0088.

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