Londoners should heed $1.2-million fire at Lambeth mansion as a safety warning, officials say

Investigators remain on the scene this weekend of a Lambeth mansion that was struck by fire. Flames gutted the house in 13 minutes Thursday night, doing $1.2 million damage. – By Shalu Mehta, The London Free Press

In less time than it takes to cook a pizza, a large, two-storey London home was gutted by a fire that left more than $1 million in damage.

Investigators who were probing the Lambeth blaze during the weekend said it’s a reminder of how quickly fire can spread.

It took only 13 minutes for the flames, which broke out late Thursday night, to gut the large home at 4 Aspen Pl. in Lambeth, where London fire department inspectors were joined by officials from the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal and city police in the weekend investigation.

Damage is estimated at $1.2 million.

Neighbours say the residents were at the movies at the time of the fire.

But what if they’d been home?

And, what if there had been kids inside?

Those are the kinds of questions a London fire inspector said all homeowners should be asking, as they prepare their own evacuation plan in event of a fire.

“Talk to your family about having a fire safety plan,” James Marshall said. “If you don’t have a plan, you won’t be able to get out.”

The cause of the blaze remains unknown.

The remnants of the house weren’t immediately safe for inspectors to enter during the weekend. Machinery was brought in to take part of it down, allowing the probe to continue. Fire trucks and a police cruiser dotted the tree-lined street in Lambeth, in the city’s southwest.

London fire officials were door-knocking around Aspen Place during the weekend, visiting homes nearby and offering fire safety information.

With files by Patrick Maloney, Free Press reporter

Below is an amateur video of the Thursday night blaze, published on YouTube:

Source: Fire spreads fast, damage tops $1M