Boxed in, permanently turned on heater causes Finsbury fire

PUBLISHED: 11:14 16 March 2015 | UPDATED: 11:14 16 March 2015

Firefighters found a heater boxed in permenantly on following a Finsbury flat fire Pic: LFB

Firefighters found a heater boxed in permenantly on following a Finsbury flat fire Pic: LFB


Five friends escaped a potential disaster after a heater - permanently boxed in and switched on - sparked a blaze.

The young tenants of the property on the King’s Square Estate, off Goswell Road, Finsbury, smelt smoke in their kitchen on Wednesday night.

After searching the flat and the flat above them they couldn’t find the source of the fire - when they saw smoked coming through the a wall they left the building and called the fire brigade.

Three fire engines and 14 firefighters from Islington, Shoredtich and Eutson stations raced down and traced the flames to behind wooden panels in the bathroom.

After cutting the panels away, crews discovered an electric heater that had been boxed in and left permanently switched on.

Stuart Drummond, a fire investigator who was at the scene, said: “The occupants were initially mystified.

“They told fire investigators that they did not know there was a heater behind the panel or how long it had been switched on.

“It’s lucky that they noticed the smoke when they did as the wood had been smouldering for some time and could have developed into a very serious fire.

“Two smoke alarms in the communal stairway had flat batteries and so it was chance that the occupants noticed the smoke in time.

“I can’t stress how important it is to have a working smoke alarm on every floor of your home and to check them regularly. This incident just shows that it’s not always obvious when there is a fire in your home.”

“I would also ask landlords to visit our fire regulation page to identify any fire risks in your property.”

Firefighters were called at 11.10pm and had the fire under control by about 11.45pm.

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