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Firefighters tackle balcony blaze at Tufnell Park flats

Children raise the alarm as residents flee to safety

14 May, 2018 — By Emma Rosser

The damage to the balconies in Tufnell Park Road

MORE than 20 firefighters tackled a blaze at a block of flats in Tufnell Park yesterday (Sunday) afternoon as the fire swept through a set of balconies.

Residents fled to safety as rescue teams faced the fire at Hollins House in Tufnell Park Road. The tenant living in the flat at the centre of the blaze, a woman with a young child,  did not want to comment today as she waited to hear when she could return to the flat.

Paula Silvester, 54, who livesin second-floor flat directly above said: “I was sleeping and the smoke woke me up. I thought she was having a barbecue on her balcony. It went black and we got out.”

Ms Silvester said the fire alarm went off as she left her flat with her 10-year-old Staffordshire cross. She said: “I was glad I was in because if I hadn’t have been the dog wouldn’t have got out.”

Fire crews at Hollis House yesterday (Sunday)

Sanai Tesfamichael, 30, who lives with his family in a ground floor flat, three doors away said children alerted residents to the fire. He said: “There were a couple of kids knocking on the door and they told us to evacuate the house.. We could see the fire. I asked the firefighter and he told me the fire was relatively under control. When we went to the back we could actually see it burning on the first floor.”

He said: “It’s surprising because it never happens around here. It’s also good to know that there’s a lot of kids looking out. It’s a nice neighbourhood, we feel safe.”

A statement from London Fire Brigade said that 30 people left the building before firefighters arrived. It said that fire crews from Holloway, Islington, Soho and Paddington attended the scene. The cause of blaze is under investigation.

 

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