FIREFIGHTERS from across west London were called to tackle a massive blaze caused by a cigarette which had been left burning in a Shepherd's Bush home.
Around half of the Boxmoor House maisonette, in Queensdale Crescent on the Edward Woods estate, was completely destroyed in the fire, which started just before 7pm yesterday.
A mother in her 60s escaped with her life when smoke alarms fitted by the fire service warned her of the blaze, after her son left the cigarette alight on the third floor of the building.
Crews from Hammersmith, Kensington, Paddington and Acton put out the fire within 25 minutes and were on the scene for three hours, checking for secondary fires in the roof space and making the building safe.
Watch manager Michael Herschell said: "The mum was on the second floor, and she was only altered to the fire because smoke alarms had been fitted properly on two floors. If there had only been one, she might not have heard it and it could have been too late.
"I'd like to reiterate the importance of ensuring that cigarette butts are soaked in water overnight or removed from the property completely."