Five people escaped a fire at a block of flats in Deptford this morning after an electric unicycle caught alight.

London Fire Brigade said people had a "lucky escape" after they were called shortly before 1am to the flats in Liardet Street when the unicycle caught fire in the communal stairwell.

Three adults from one flat and an an adult and child from another flat were rescued by firefighters.

Part of the stairwell was damaged and there were no reports of injuries.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “They had bought the unicycle online, it was only a week old and had been used once.

“It started to smell funny so they put it out in the communal area and it caught alight.

“People should be careful when purchasing products like these as there are some on sale which are non compliant and could be unsafe and pose a fire risk.

“We’d recommend using the National Trading Standards product safety checklist and keeping an eye on Electrical Safety First’s recall list.

“This incident also shows the importance of smoke alarms as a number of the flats didn’t have any which were working.

"Homes need multiple smoke alarms or you won’t be properly covered. Ideal spots for smoke alarms include rooms where you leave electrical equipment running.

“As a minimum you should have smoke alarms on every floor - in the hallways and the rooms you use the most, plus a heat alarm in the kitchen and the bathroom and they should be tested regularly.

"While we understand the reason they brought the item out into the stairwell, we would urge people not to store things in communal areas of flats as they can block residents' fire escape routes and can hamper firefighters trying to tackle fires."

The fire was under control by 1.16am and two fire engines and 10 firefighters tackled the blaze.