London

Man held as house in London collapses after major fire

The collapsed house in South Norwood
Image caption Nearby buildings were evacuated and the house was declared structurally unsafe

A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson after a house in south London partially collapsed following a serious fire.

Emergency services were called to reports of a fire and an explosion at the property in Oliver Grove, South Norwood, in the early hours.

Families living in the four converted flats escaped before crews arrived but two adults and a child were treated in hospital after breathing in smoke.

The arrested man remains in custody.

Surrounding buildings had to be evacuated and the house has been declared structurally unsafe.

Intensity of flames

Flats on the first and second floor of the three-storey building were severely damaged by the fire which started shortly after midnight.

Eight adults and six children got out of the building before the fire brigade arrived and a further 16 people were moved out of nearby properties.

The fire was brought under control by 0400 BST.

A fire brigade spokesman said it was a "major" fire and the intensity of the flames had caused the front of the building to partially collapse.

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