Page last updated at 18:16 GMT, Thursday, 26 November 2009

Peckham fire: Your stories

Photo: Benjamin Field
Local resident Benjamin Field went outside and saw the flames

Over 300 people were forced to leave their homes after a fire broke out in the early hours in Peckham, south London.

More than 150 firefighters tackled the blaze which engulfed a construction site at about 0430 GMT.

It spread to two blocks of maisonettes and destroyed a pub.

Ten people, including two police officers, received hospital treatment for minor injuries.

BBC News website readers from Peckham have been relating their experiences.


I woke up hearing my neighbours shouting outside. I thought they were arguing. Dogs were barking and car horns were beeping too, so I went to my window to find out what was going on.

Photo: Susannah Gill
Residents gathered to see the fire Photo: Susannah Gill

I saw a building was on fire and hot orange ash was raining down.

I woke up everyone at home to tell them what was happening.

I got dressed and went outside.

At the front of the estate residents were hurriedly coming out of their homes, wondering what was happening.

People were supporting each other. They made sure everyone was safely out of the estate block, and that relatives and friends had been called.

Someone opened up the local church. My family and I weren't able to go back home right away so we decided to seek shelter there for a while. We were offered teas and coffees.

My brother lives about a ten-minute walk away from my home so we stayed there.

Today was my first day in my new job. I hope my boss saw the news and is understanding!

Photo: Susannah Gill
Firefighters attempt to tackle the blaze. Photo: Susannah Gill

I live just a couple of streets from the fire, just about 400 metres away from the collapsed building site.

The sound of a huge explosion woke me up around 4.45am. I saw sparks and embers falling from the sky.

I could smell smoke coming into my flat and I saw people wondering around in their pyjamas looking shell-shocked outside.

The local church was taking people in as people were being evacuated from their homes.

There have been sirens blaring all morning, but no one seems to know what has caused the fire.


My mum who lives in Southampton heard the news about the fire and she rang me around 7.30am to find out if I was alright.

Photo: Victoria Mullins
A resident looks on at a burnt out building. Photo: Victoria Mullins

When I looked outside I saw lots of fire engines and police cars.

I live in an apartment block about 400 metres from the fire. I'm studying photo-journalism at the London College of Communication and I took photos of what I saw when I went outside.

There were loads of people walking around with blankets over them. They were led to the church in Sumner Road where they were given hot drinks and breakfast.

I was lucky to be able to go back home, but people who were forced to leave their homes had to wait to hear when it is safe for them to return back.


This video was filmed by Mosiah Gilligan, a local resident.

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