A woman risked her life by searching a smoke-filled hallway for her cats after a fire broke out in a building in Notting Hill.
She successfully managed to find her pets and lock them safely away in her apartment, but her actions resulted in her receiving a ticking off from firefighters, and treatment for smoke inhalation.
The fire trapped three occupants on the ground floor of the Ladbroke Road flats and a further three on the third floor.
Emergency 999 control officers stayed on the phone to the ground-floor occupants, giving advice on how to stay safe until firefighters arrived.
Watch Manager Brien O’Keeffe, who was at the scene, said: “One of the residents of the upper flats had to be treated for smoke inhalation because she ran around the smoke-filled communal area of the building for five minutes looking for her cats.
“It’s natural to want to rescue your pets but even a relatively small fire can create a lot of smoke, and people must realise how quickly they can be overcome.
“When a fire starts in your home, your priority must be to get out, stay out and call 999. I spoke to her at length about the risk she had taken looking for her cats.”
When crews from Kensington and North Kensington fire stations arrived they led the people to safety. They were all treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation.
A further inspection revealed none of the eight flats had a working smoke alarm.
The watch manager added: “It’s essential that you have a smoke alarm fitted on every level of your home and you should test them regularly, as they can buy you vital seconds to escape in the event of a fire.”
The fire was confined to the communal hallway and caused slight damage.
Crew were called to the scene at 10.15pm and had the fire under control at 11.15pm.