‘Smoking bird’ starts fire in Stockwell
10:36 06 March 2014
A cigarette-smoking bird started a flat fire in south London last night, blaze investigators believe.
Officers from the London Fire Brigade began searching for the cause of the incident on Landor Road in Stockwell after dousing flames - but found themselves baffled when there were no clear ignition sources.
However after learning from neighbours that birds regularly flew in and out from a hole in the roof, investigators surmised a bird must have picked up a still-smouldering cigarette butt before dropping it into a nest inside the building.
LFB officer Matt Cullen said: “When we got up into the roof, we were baffled as there were no obvious ignition sources – no one had been up to there for a long time and there were no electrics that could have sparked a blaze.
“We looked everywhere, but the smoking gun was found when we discovered a partially burnt birds nest.”
The blaze, which firefighters were called to around 10.30pm last night, damaged part of the roof but no one was hurt - though nine people had to evacuate the building.
Mr Cullen added: “The incident is a great example of why it’s important to put your cigarettes out fully – you never know what might become of your smouldering butts!”