Home / Blog / Croydon fire: 80 people evacuated leaving 'nothing standing' in horror block of flats blaze

Croydon fire: 80 people evacuated leaving 'nothing standing' in horror block of flats blaze

Mar 24, 2023Mar 24, 2023

The London Fire Brigade has sent 40 firefighters to White Horse Road, Croydon, South London, this afternoon where a blaze is tearing through a block of flats

A horror blaze at a South London block of flats saw 80 people evacuated leaving "nothing standing" while 60 hero firefighters battled flames described by a witness as "massive".

The London Fire Brigade took dozens of 999 calls to the blaze in White Horse Road, Croydon, at around 5pm today before 80 people were evacuated from the building - including a mum who told a dramatic story of being saved by a kind stranger.

The brigade confirmed part of the first, second, third and fourth floors of the five-storey block of flats were alight with two people, a man and a woman, treated at the scene.

Mm-of-two, Monique Jackson Joseph, described how she fled for her life from the burning block of flats after a hero stranger banged on her door and alerted her to run while she was celebrating her daughter's seventh birthday.

Monique described how the five-storey block went up in flames "within minutes", forcing 80 people to flee their homes and leaving "nothing standing" inside the flats.

Monique, 26, said: "A random person off the street came banging on my door after the alarm didn't go off. There was literally a bypasser who ran in. By the time I got out here, the fire was at the top of the building. All he said was 'Get out now'."

Monique, who also has a four-year-old son, was waiting for her husband to get home from work and has no idea where she's going to take her family for the night.

Videos posted to social media show huge plumes of smoke billowing into the air on what appears to be the first and second floor of a block of flats.

Station Commander Chris Young, who was at the scene, said: "Around 80 people left the building, thankfully uninjured.

"Road closures are expected to be in place for a number of hours this evening and we're urging people to avoid the local area."

Writing on Twitter, one eyewitness said: "Avoid White Horse road in Croydon, at the West Croydon end, as there is a massive fire."

A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade wrote on Twitter: "Eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters tackled a flat fire on Whitehorse Road in Croydon.

"Two flats and two balconies on the first and second floors of the building were destroyed by fire.

"Most of a third-floor flat and balcony were also damaged by the blaze. There were no reports of any injuries.

"The Brigade's 999 Control Officers took over 40 calls about the fire.

"One of the Brigade's 32-metre turntable ladders was used as a water tower to get water on to the building externally.

"The Brigade was called at 1703 and the fire was under control by 1845.

"Fire crews from Croydon, Woodside, Wallington and surrounding fire stations attended the scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation."

Allan Brown, 44, who lives and works in Croydon and witnessed the fire, said: "From where I was standing, which was quite close at one point, many residents, including children, could be seen running from the building's lower floor, with some residents trying to get back into the building.

"This was before the fire department arrived with the first two engines.

"There were residents leaving the building and trying to get back into it, but the blaze was very high.

"We had to clear the area due (to) the smoke that filled the area.

"In total there was six fire engines and various amounts of police and ambulance in the scene within five minutes."

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "We were called today (Weds 7) at 5.06pm to reports of a fire in Whitehorse Road, Croydon.

"We sent a number of resources to the scene including an ambulance crew, an incident response officer and members of our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).

"We treated a man and a woman at the scene but did not take anyone to hospital."

A video from the scene appears to show a number of floors ablaze, with balconies lit with flames.

Get email updates with the day's biggest stories