Three people had to flee their home after a heater accidentally switched on and almost burnt their Hither Green house down.

London Fire Brigade were called to the fire in George Lane yesterday afternoon (November 1) around 4.30pm.

Fire investigators believe that something accidentally switched on the heater’s isolator switch.

The heater was kept in a storage room so the items which were being kept on top began to smoulder and eventually burst into flame.

The home had no smoke alarm so the fire was left to develop for some time before one of the occupants smelt the smoke and they were able to evacuate safely.

20 firefighters from Lewisham, Lee Green, Greenwich and Deptford were needed to contain the blaze, which damaged the first floor and part of the roof.

LFB have since issued a warning to those who have portable heaters on how to store them safely.

The advice includes keeping heaters away from clothing and furniture, secure them against the wall to stop them falling, and sit at least one metre away so your own clothes or hair don’t catch fire.

A LFB spokesperson said: "Always unplug unused heaters and other electrical items, it’s surprisingly easy to accidentally knock a switch on.

“It’s also crucial to have working smoke alarms in your home. Never leave it to chance that you will discover a fire.

“Everyone should have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of their home and test them regularly. This will give the earliest warning if there is a fire in your home.

“Shockingly over two thirds of fatal fires involving heaters are caused by clothing or furniture being too close.

“People need to ensure all heaters are standing upright and kept well away from clothes, curtains or furniture."