PICTURED: The hoarding which could have cost Shooters Hill man his life in fire

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News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

These pictures show the hoarding which could have cost a Shooters Hill man his life during a fire at his home.

Toys and assorted garbage are strewn down the stairs, while the doorway is completely impassable due to bags and clutter.

The London Fire Brigade has released images of the hoarder's home in a campaign to show how quickly fire can take hold in those conditions.

According to new data, hoarding has been a factor in nearly 20 fire deaths over the past three years, with firefighters attending around two blazes a week in the homes of hoarders.

In the Shooters Hill incident last month, firefighters' efforts were severely hampered by the clutter and had to remove the rear window as entry to the property was impossible.

Fortunately, the man had only minor smoke inhalation and no firefighters were injured.

News Shopper: PICTURED: The hoarding which could have cost Shooters Hill man his life in fire

Neighbours of Woolwich pensioner Maurice Cunliffe, who died in a fire at his home back in February, claimed the amount of clutter in his house also played a part in the blaze taking hold.

The brigade warns that cluttered rooms, make it much easier for a fire to start and a greater risk of excessively rapid fire spread increasing the risk of injury and death.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "Fires in cluttered homes can spread like wildfire, putting those who live them at serious risk of injury or worse and potentially endangering our firefighters who go to tackle them.

"We’re committed to working with people with hoarding tendencies and are calling on them and their friends and family to arrange a free home fire safety visit with us so that we can help them stay safe."

As part of National Hoarding Awareness Week the brigade has also released this video, showing a heavily cluttered room catching fire. 

London Fire Brigade is asking for people with hoarding tendencies or their friends and family to get in contact and arrange a home fire safety visit.

The free visit will give firefighters a chance to work with the hoarder and make sure they know what to do if there is a fire and how to escape.

To book a visit, go to hfsvwr.london-fire.gov.uk

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