London Fire Brigade has issued a smoking safety reminder after a flat fire in Eltham.

Twenty five firefighters found a balcony blaze yesterday in Sherard Road that they now think was started by a discarded cigarette.

A balcony on the fifth floor was destroyed by the fire and a small part of a six roomed flat was also damaged but there were no reports of any injuries.

The Brigade's fire investigators believe the fire was caused by the unsafe disposal of smoking materials, such as a cigarette or match.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "We would rather people didn’t smoke at all but if they do, vaping is a safer option.

"If you do choose to smoke cigarettes, it is absolutely vital you ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it.

"If you don’t, you risk causing a fire which could not only destroy your home, but also cost you your life."

Safety advice for smokers

Make sure you have smoke alarms fitted in every room you regularly use in your home including in the hallways.

Never smoke in bed.

Always ensure you stub out cigarettes properly and dispose of them carefully.

Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach.

Never leave lit cigarettes or cigars unattended.

Empty ashtrays carefully, ensuring all smoking materials are stubbed out and cold.

If you must smoke, do it outdoors.

The Brigade was called at 0958 and the fire was under control at 1126. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Eltham, Sidcup and Lee Green fire stations attended the scene.