Neighbours made homeless following a fire in a block of flats are anxiously waiting to find out the extent of damage to their properties.

Eight fire engines and 40 firefighters were called to the blaze at a block of flats in St James's Road, West Croydon, at 5pm.

It was under control by 7pm, with a 13-year-old boy jumping from a window to escape and firecrews rescuing a man from the top floor

Ambulances were at the scene, but nobody was given hospital treatment.

People living in the block of flats were evacuated and spent the evening in a rest centre nearby set up by Croydon Council.

This morning the fire was being investigated by the London Fire Brigade, with nobody yet allowed back in their flats.

It is believed it caused 50 per cent damage to the third floor after the blaze began in the first floor of the building.

Kingsley Antwi, a bus driver, who lives in the block of flats said: "We are waiting for the fire to be investigated. I only saw smoke.

"I stayed last night at the rescue centre - at least we had somewhere to go to.

"We don't know the extent of the damage or when it is safe to go back in."

Another neighbour Greg Wilkes said: "I was not here when it happened, I only got a phone call to say.

"I stayed at the hostel, it was not great, but what could you do?"

Station manager, Peter Rickard, said at the time: "When I was on my way to the incident I could see the smoke from about a mile away so I knew it was likely to be a large fire.

"It’s too early to say how the fire started at this stage, but as soon as it’s safe to do so, our fire investigators will be working to establish what caused it."

Since the fire broke out the brigade's 999 officers were inundated with about 20 calls reporting the incident.



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