Evacuated residents return home after fire in five-storey building

More than 100 people have returned to their homes after being evacuated due to a fire which saw 11 people require hospital treatment.

Around 160 people were moved from surrounding buildings after the blaze broke out at a five-storey converted terraced house in South Kensington, London.

Emergency services were called to the scene just after midnight on Friday and 11 people were treated for smoke inhalation and taken to hospital.

South Kensington fire
Firefighters tackle the blaze on Emperor’s Gate, South Kensington (James Manning/PA)

Ben King, brigade borough commander for Kensington and Chelsea, said it is currently “too early” to say what caused the fire on Emperor’s Gate.

During the incident, two people were rescued from a flat on the second floor using a 13.5-metre ladder, a further two were rescued from the fourth floor, and one person was removed from a first floor flat.

The first and second floors of the building were extensively damaged and the ground floor was partly damaged, the fire service said.

South Kensington fire
The top floor of the building was well alight at the height of the blaze (London Fire Brigade/PA)

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council is working with the fire service’s community engagement team to support residents who were evacuated to a local hotel and ensure they are taken back to their properties “as soon as practically possible”, Mr King said.

He added: “The next stage for us is restoring the area to normality as quickly as possible and making sure that our colleagues from fire investigations work with the Metropolitan Police to identify the cause as quickly as possible.”

London Fire Brigade has reduced its presence at the incident to under 10 fire engines and will remain at the scene for the rest of Friday.

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