A pesky pigeon has been blamed for starting a flat fire in south London. The London Fire Brigade believes the bird dropped a smouldering cigarette in the roof of the flat in Stockwell, causing a blaze that forced residents to flee the building.
Four fire engines and 21 fire fighters raced to the fire in Landor Road just after 10.20pm on Wednesday night. The roof of the building was damaged but all nine people who had been inside escaped before the crews arrived and no-one was hurt.
London Fire Brigade investigations officer Matt Cullen said: “When we got up into the roof, we were baffled as there were no obvious ignition sources. No-one had been up to there for a long time and there were no electrics that could have sparked a blaze. We looked everywhere, but the smoking gun was found when we discovered a partially burnt birds’ nest.”
Neighbours told the officers they often saw birds flying to and from a hole in the roof, leading them to the conclusion that the likely cause of the blaze was the bird dropping a smouldering butt.
He added: “The incident is a great example of why it’s important to put your cigarettes out fully. You never know what might become of your smoldering butts.”
Luckily for the residents, as their neighbours saw the smoke and raised the alarm, the fire crews could get in quickly and bring it under control.