Twelve people were forced to flee their homes after a Forest Hill flat caught alight yesterday evening.

Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters were called to tackle the blaze in St German’s Road shortly before 6pm last night.

The ground floor flat was badly damaged by the flames.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said:"The occupier is believed to be in one of the neighbouring flats at the time of the fire.

"Around 12 people evacuated from the building before the Brigade arrived. The fire is believed to originate from the tumble dryer and will be subjected to further tests.

"It is believed that the residents tried to use wet towels to tackle the fire in the early stages.

"We’d kindly remind people to not try to fight fires but to leave it to the professionals. If there is a fire in your home, get out, close the door behind you, stay out and call 999.”

The Brigade was called at 5:04pm and the fire was under control by 5:59pm.

Fire crews from Lewisham, Greenwich, Lee Green and Deptford fire stations were at the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.