May 23 2013 Latest news:
Monday, February 25, 2013
A man and a two-year-old boy were among those evacuated from flats after fire took hold at a convenience store in South Norwood this morning.
Eight fire engines, 58 firefighters and officers were called to the blaze at Nisa in the High Street shortly before 11am.
Around half of the shop and part of the building’s first floor was damaged in the incident.
Neighbours described how they rushed to the aid of the man and the toddler after they emerged from the flat with barely any clothes on. They were taken to Croydon University Hospital.
Mother-of-two Louise Monger was heading to the bank with her neighbour when she saw smoke billowing from the store. She was soon joined by two police officers.
“I saw the man in the top window, the dad with the little boy. We couldn’t get in the flat so the police officer booted down the door.
“As far as I know it started at the back of the shop. I went into the shop, it was full of black smoke and it was empty. I came out realising it was empty and shouted to everyone ‘are the flats empty?’
She said the pair then emerged from from the flats above via the door next to the store.
Funeral director Samantha Gregory helped take them into A Yeatman and Sons on the other side of the High Street.
She said: “We got him some stuff and brought him in here and then they took them (to hospital). I wouldn’t say rescue but the kid had nothing on so we got him some games and kids and stuff.
“He said he was sitting there just talking with his son and all of a sudden smoke came through the floorboards so he decided to leg it.
“As he got to the bottom of the door I come running over and we just grabbed the kids. But obviously the dad was in such a shock.”
Miss Monger added: “Him and his little boy just had T-shirts and pants on, so I checked his tongue to see if there was any black in it, checked his whole mouth to see if there was any black in it.
“The dad was all shook up, he didn’t want to eat or drink anything.”
Four people in total were evacuated from the flats while the High Street was closed between Portland Road and Oliver Grove.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.