Three people escaped from a fire in Catford at the weekend which is thought to have been sparked by the “careless use of candles”.

Six fire engines and 35 firefighters were called to a maisonette in Verdant Lane on Saturday (July 5) at 3.28am.

They battled the flames, which left half of the first floor and most of the second floor and roof damaged, for nearly two and a half hours.

Three people escaped uninjured from the fire before London Fire Brigade (LFB) staff arrived after being alerted by their smoke alarm.

An LFB spokesman said: “This fire shows how important it is to have a smoke alarm and to test it regularly.

“Smoke alarms provide vital early warning and extra time to escape if there is a fire.

“It’s also very important to put candles out when you leave the room and that they are placed in a suitable fire resistant candleholder.

"Candles should be kept well away from anything that could catch fire.”

Fire crews from Forest Hill, Beckenham, Lee Green, Bromley and Lewisham attended the scene.