The former Ghana, Chelsea and West Ham United manager Avram Grant has told how he was forced to flee his home after a “raging” blaze broke out at his block of flats in north-west London on Tuesday.
Four balconies were destroyed in the huge fire today on Heritage Lane, West Hampstead.
Mr Grant, 63, was in his seventh-floor flat when the flames began shortly before 11.30am. He stopped to warn neighbours of the fire as he escaped the flames, talkSPORT reported.
London Fire Brigade said it sent eight fire engines and more than 50 firefighters to the scene on Heritage Lane in West Hampstead.
Crews were called shortly before 11.30am on Tuesday, LFB said in a statement. Firefighters from West Hampstead, Paddington, Willesden and surrounding fire stations scrambled to the incident, it added.
Mr Grant said he “felt the heat and saw the smoke” before fleeing the premises. He told the news outlet: “I was speaking with my son and I saw a lot of smoke from the balcony. There was a lot of smoke, so I ran away.”
He added: “I knocked on a few of the doors to tell people.”
In an update on Twitter shortly after 1pm, LFB said the fire was under control and crews are expected to stay at the scene “dampening down”. Six fire engines and 35 firefighters were initially called to the fire, with more arriving later.
The fire spread from three to four balconies as crews tried to stop the flames. Video footage shared online showed the building engulfed by a plume of black smoke. One woman reported on Twitter a “raging fire” spreading at the apartment building.
Images circulating on social media showed firefighters battling the flames, which covered the balconies.
Dave C wrote on Twitter that balconies had been “destroyed” and “taken doors and curtains with them”.
The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.
A spokesman for LFB said: “Eight fire engines and 58 firefighters and officers have been called to a fire at a block of flats in Heritage Lane, West Hampstead.
“Four balconies were destroyed in the fire. The Brigade’s 999 control officers received 40 calls about the incident.
“The Brigade was called at 11.25am and the fire was under control at 1.10pm.
“Fire crews from West Hampstead, Paddington, Willesden, and surrounding fire stations attended the scene.”