A fire in a building in London’s Soho has forced several closures in the area, including of Berwick Street. The blaze was in a flat, and a man had to be rushed to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews. An update on his condition has not been provided yet. Three fire engines and around 15 firefighters from Soho and Euston fire stations were deployed to the scene.
The London Ambulance Service said they sent an ambulance crew, an incident response officer, an advanced paramedic, and their hazardous area response team to the scene of the fire. They also dispatched London’s Air Ambulance.
A Met Police spokesperson said: “Police were called at approximately 09:40hrs on Tuesday, 7 December to reports of a fire at a flat in Berwick Street, W1.
“Officers, London Ambulance Service, London’s Air Ambulance and London Fire Brigade attended the scene. LFB dealt with the blaze.
“One male occupant of the flat was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries; condition awaits.
“Cordons remain in place; enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.”
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Oxford Street was blocked in both directions as pictures from the scene showed at least three fire engines and two ambulances on the road.
Traffic also built up around Tottenham Court Road station on the westbound.
Andrew Murray, posting a photo on Twitter from the area, said: “Looks like serious incident at Oxford St end of Berwick St in Soho.
“Will cause traffic disruption, but much more important to deal with any casualties.”
Soho Police wrote on Twitter at 11am: “All road closures around the area other than Berwick St have now been lifted.
“At present we have no ETA as to when Berwick St will re-open.”
Oxford Street reopened shortly after.
Liaison officers from Westminster Council are at the scene to provide support.
The London Fire Brigade said firefighters wearing breathing apparatus rescued the man who was taken to hospital from the first floor flat where the blaze took place.
Firefighters also rescued a man from the flat, with heavy smoke, using a fire escape hood.
Fire escape hoods provide anyone with up to 15 minutes of protection from four of the main fire gases — carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride and acrolein — and can be worn by conscious or unconscious people.
A second hood can be given to wearers should another 15 minutes of protection be needed.
While they do not provide oxygen, they temporarily filter toxic smoke to make breathing easier.
A man and a woman left the building before the help arrived.
Meanwhile, Westminster Council informed two more flats were evacuated but residents may be able to return today.
They wrote: “Some road closures still in place.
“Our support officer remains at the scene.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation.