Quick-thinking firefighters managed to save an art centre in Central London

Quick-thinking firefighters managed to save an art centre in Berkeley Square from going up in flames this week.

Four fire engines and 21 firefighters/officers arrived at this building to find that a gallery and auction house were at risk of fire.

The upper floors, where the fire took place, are unoccupied: the gallery is downstairs.

The fire was thankfully contained to a decking area on the balcony of the sixth floor.

Soho Watch Manager Graham Rooney said: “We managed to get the aerial ladder platform up quickly so we could put the fire out from above before it had a chance to spread through the building and into the eaves of the roof.

“If it hadn’t been for the quick actions of firefighters at the scene we could have been looking at a very different fire.”

The cause of the fire is believed to be smoking materials like cigarettes. “There are around three fires a day in London linked to smoking materials such as cigarettes, roll-ups, cigars and pipe tobacco and half of accidental fire deaths we see are related to careless disposal of cigarettes,” said the Brigade.

“It’s absolutely vital you ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it. If you don’t, you risk causing a fire that could destroy not only your property, but also your life.”

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