South Kensington fire: 11 people in hospital as residents flee flats blaze

Flames burst through the rood of the Kensington townhouse. Credit: London Fire Brigade

Eleven people are in hospital after a fire broke out in flats in South Kensington.

Some 130 people fled the fire as firefighters swarmed the five-storey building on Emperor’s Gate, just after midnight on Friday.

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said 11 people were treated for smoke inhalation at scene before being taken to “London hospitals and major trauma centres”.

Firefighters rescued five people as the flames spread from the ground floor and erupted through the roof of the converted town house.

The service said 15 fire engines and about 100 firefighters attended the scene, where half of the ground floor of the building was alight.

Station Commander Steve Collins said: “The fire has spread from the ground floor to the top floor and roof of the property.

“Crews worked extremely hard to contain the (fire) to stop it spreading to adjacent buildings.

“Road closures are in place and likely to remain well into the morning rush hour so motorists are advised to avoid the area. However, there is no impact on rail services and they will be running as normal.”

London Fire Brigade (LFB) declared the fire was ‘under control’ by around 4.40am.

The evacuated residents had to shelter in a nearby hotel, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea said.

Deputy leader councillor Kim Taylor-Smith said in a statement: “We are on the ground and providing support and accommodation to residents impacted.

“I also want to thank the emergency services for the incredible job they have done in very challenging conditions, and to staff at the council who have sprung into action in the middle of the night.”

Emergency services remain at the scene.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

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