A smoke alarm is being credited for helping save the lives of three people after a fire broke out in a house in Fulham .

They were able to escape the blaze, which badly damaged the chimney of the three-storey property in Walham Grove, without injury on Thursday (April 7).

It is believed the blaze accidentally started when a build-up of soot meant a lit chimney fire spread to the roof.

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Four fire engines from Fulham, Chelsea, Clapham and Kensington attended, along with 21 firefighters, attended at around 6.30pm and had the flames under control by 8.05pm.

Watch Manager John Waller said: “Once again smoke alarms helped save lives. Our advice is to have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and the safest option is have the alarms linked together. This will give the earliest warning if there is a fire in your home.”

And he warned: “If people are using solid fuel such as coal and logs on a regular basis, we recommend that the chimney should be swept twice a year to avoid the build up of soot.

"We advise to use a professional chimney sweep, as they would also carry out a smoke test on the chimney to check for its integrity.”

Earlier this month, a child came to the rescue of his family after smelling smoke when a house alarm failed to sound .

London Fire Brigade issued a warning in February urging people to check their smoke alarms after it revealed firefighters had attended a series of blazes that could have been prevented .

Want to protect your family from fire hazards? Read these 10 tips to fire-proof your home .