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Media captionWorcester Park resident Darren Nicholson “woke up to the sound of crackling”

Many families have lost their homes after a huge fire destroyed a block of flats in south-west London.

Flames quickly spread to all four floors of the building in Sherbrooke Way, Worcester Park, after fire crews were called just before 01:30 BST.

Some 125 firefighters and 20 fire engines tackled the blaze, which took five hours to get under control.

No injuries were reported but London Fire Brigade (LFB) said crews would remain there throughout the day.

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London Fire Brigade

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London Fire Brigade said it was a “challenging” blaze to tackle

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A collection has been set up for residents who have lost their homes

Dean Fowler, who lives with his family on the top floor of the building, said he was woken in the night by someone banging on his door.

“I then heard someone screaming ‘there’s a fire, get out’, and I just got my boys and went,” he said.

He said he had only been living in the building for three weeks and had lost “everything” in the blaze, but added: “we’re alive, we’re breathing, that’s all that matters”.

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Jack Woods/PA Media

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Lauren Woods and Jack Edwards escaped from the top floor of the building with their twin daughters

Lauren Woods and Jack Edwards escaped from the top floor with their two six-month-old daughters Mia and Grace.

Louise Anns, Ms Woods’ friend and colleague, said the family had been left “devastated” having had to abandon their two cats, while their car was expected to be written off due to flooding in the building’s basement.

“Everything they have is in that flat, and it’s gone,” said Ms Anns, who has set up an online donation page to raise funds to help them.

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London Fire Brigade

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All four storeys of the block were ablaze

The building is made up of 23 flats and based in The Hamptons estate, an American-style complex made up of social and private housing which was built on a former sewage treatment works.

Residents from the block and a nearby building were taken to a nearby community centre and a collection is being organised for the affected families.

One of those, Darren Nicholson, said he woke up to the sound of “crackling” and when he opened the curtains he “saw the flames and got myself and the family out”.

He said fire alarms were going off in the community areas but not in his own flat and he believed the blaze began “on the balconies”.

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At the scene

Greg McKenzie, BBC Radio London correspondent

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PA Media

What was once a four-storey building is now just a shell.

You can hear the block falling apart and black and white smoke continues to billow from it.

The closest building, which has also been evacuated, is quite far away so it is not possible that the fire could spread.

However, the thick smoke is going into these houses and covering the entire block.

Residents from other parts of the estate have been bringing bags of clothing and bedding to the community centre to donate to those people who have lost everything.

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London Fire Brigade

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No injuries were reported

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The building is made up of 23 flats

Fire investigators have begun work to look into “all aspects of the this fire”, LFB said.

LFB Group Manager Rick Ogden said fire crews had faced “a well developed and intense fire” which had engulfed all four floors of the building.

“We would urge people to avoid the area if possible and for residents in the immediate area to keep their windows and doors closed,” he said.

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Google

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The estate is made up of 645 mixed-tenure homes built in a US style beside a nature reserve

Metropolitan Thames Valley, the housing association which manages properties in the block, said it was “supporting emergency services on the ground and our priority is ensuring that residents are safe.”

Sutton Council said it had officers on the site who were “supporting anybody that needs help”.


Have you been affected by the Worcester Park fire? If it’s safe to do so, you can share your experience by emailing .

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