A flat in Tadworth has been destroyed and two pensioners hospitalised following a fire caused by a cigarette left alight.

Fire crews were called to Hatch Gardens, off Marbles Way, just after 12.30am to reports of a ground floor flat fire.

Two appliances from Epsom and one each from Reigate, Leatherhead and Painshill spent more than three hours tackling the blaze.

Jon Bennett, white watch crew commander at Epsom fire station, said a woman in her 70s who lived in the flat where the fire started had already got out by the time crews arrived.

But she had gone to help an 80-year-old female friend living above her and both had been overcome by smoke.

Video of fire engines outside the flats, taken by Twitter user Chris M (@rubberducksuk)

A younger man had also been seen running back into the fire to help the women, and all three were led to safety by firefighters.

The two women were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and burns.

Mr Bennett said the fire is believed to have been caused by a cigarette that had not been properly extinguished.

The fire quickly spread, as the resident living in the flat was a "hoarder" and had piles of flammable items inside the property, he said.

Mr Bennet said: "The flat is 80 per cent destroyed by fire.

"It just goes to show the dangers of hoarding and smoking in bed. It could happen at anytime."

Did you see what happened? Call 020 87444255 or email ross.logan@london.newsquest.co.uk