Families with children had to be evacuated after a severe fire broke out at a block of flats.

London Fire Brigade tackled the ‘accidental’ blaze for over an hour at The Ridgeway in Chingford, from 6pm yesterday (October 19).

Over 20 people, including two adults and a child from the second floor flat where the fire started, escaped the block before fire crews could attend.

There were no injuries reported but the five roomed flat was left badly damaged.

Station Manager Sean Madeley who was at the scene, issued a warning to residents finding no smoke alarms at the property.

He said: “On arrival we were faced with a severe fire with flames showing at the rear of the block of flats.

“Crews worked hard to bring the fire under control and stop it from spreading to surrounding flats.

“The occupants of the flat affected were alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke which was fortunate as there was no smoke detection fitted in the property.

“Had there been smoke alarms fitted it may have led to earlier detection of the fire.

“Everyone should have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and the safest option is have those linked together.

“This will give the earliest warning if there is a fire in your home.”

The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental after clothes came into contact with an electric clothes dryer.

Four fire engines and 21 firefighters from Chingford, Woodford and Enfield fire stations attended the incident.

The Brigade was called 6.15pm and the fire was under control at 7.40pm.