The fire brigade have released details of how they dramatically saved more than ten people from a flat-block blaze in Beckenham.

Two people were hospitalised suffering smoke inhalation and 11 rescued, after a fire ripped through the building on Beckenham Road in the early hours of Friday morning.

It took more than two hours for six fire engines and around 40 firefighters from Beckenham, Woodside, Bromley and West Norwood fire stations to bring the blaze under control, which destroyed a three room flat on the first floor.

Crew wearing breathing apparatus recovered four women and two men from the ground and first floors.

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A flat was completely destroyed

Another man was fitted with a fire escape hood and led to safety via an internal staircase from the second floor, and a further four men escaped using a 9m ladder.

Fire escape hoods provide members of the public with up to 15 minutes protection from four of the main harmful fire gases, temporarily filter toxic smoke to make breathing easier, and can be worn by conscious or unconscious people.

If more than 15 minutes protection is required then another hood can be given to each wearer.

Station Manager Nathan Hobson, who was at the scene, said: “When firefighters arrived, it was a fully developed fire and crews worked hard to bring it under control.

“Crews carried out multiple rescues from different parts of the building.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.