Duchess's son praises firefighters

Tom Parker Bowles, 2005. Credit: EMPICS/PA

Tom Parker Bowles has heaped praise on London's emergency services today after a large fire forced his family to be evacuated from their home.

The Duchess of Cornwall's son was woken in the early hours of this morning when a blaze ripped through a five-storey property on his street.

About 60 firefighters battled the flames at the unoccupied house in Bayswater, central London, which had been undergoing renovation work.

Journalist Parker Bowles, who took shelter in a neighbour's home with his wife and two children, said the incident had brought out the "best of British" spirit.

He said: "It must have been about 1.30am when officers came in to get us all out. The kids were still in their pyjamas."We have some very nice neighbours who took us in after we were evacuated.

"The police and fire brigade were exemplary. I really cannot praise them enough. They did a perfect job."We've been able to go back and pick up some essentials but we won't be able to return until tonight."

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Bayswater mansion fire

London fire crews battle fire at a Bayswater mansion since the early hours of the morning.