Two men rescued from Thornton Heath out building as fire brigade warns about "beds in sheds"
Two men were taken to hospital last night after a fire in an out building in Thornton Heath.
The pair who were unconscious, were rescued by firefighters using thermal image cameras and wearing breathing apparatus, who were called to Melfort Road, at 10.30pm last night.
Six pumps including crews from Norbury, Woodside and Croydon attended the fire in the single storey building which measured 20m by 20m, and was being used as a bedsit.
Five mattresses were found in the building following the blaze.
The men rescued from the building were treated for burns and smoke inhalation before being taken to hospital.
Watch Manager Simon Chalk said: "We acted really quickly to get the two unconscious men out of the severe fire.
"The outhouse was completely gutted and we made sure the fire didn’t spread further."
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The incident came as the London Fire Brigade raised concerns about "beds in sheds."
Statistics from the last three years show there have been 235 fires, almost one every five days, in buildings that appeared to have people living in them when they should not have been.
These blazes have caused four deaths and 45 serious injuries.
Fire Chiefs said they were particularly concerned at evidence indicating a growth in ad-hoc back garden developments which see sheds, garages and industrial units being rented out as accommodation.
Since 2009, there have been 16 fires, three fire deaths and seven serious fire injuries at incidents specifically involving properties of this description.
Last month the Government launched new guidance to councils making clear the powers at their disposal to shut down this type of housing.
Councillor Crada Onuegbu, chairwoman of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority Strategy Committee said: "The issue of "beds in sheds" as well as people living in other unsuitable buildings, continues to be a concern, as unscrupulous landlords looking to make a quick buck put lives at risk in shoddy accommodation.
"These figures are a stark reminder that properties like these are potentially lethal fire traps. It's inevitable people living in them rely on far riskier ways of heating, cooking and lighting but unfortunately fire safety is not a priority for the landlords who illegally rent them out."