London firefighters have rescued nine horses from a stable fire, which broke out in the roof of the building.
Crews from the London Fire Brigade were called to the fire before first light on Wednesday morning in the stables on Hewitts Road in Chelsfield, Orpington.
A van driver had called the brigade after noticing smoke in the area. The stable’s fire alarm system had also activated.
“When firefighters arrived we discovered there were nine horses in the stables, which were filling with smoke,” watch manager Allister Woods said.
“Luckily, the fire started in a section of the roof, but if it had begun among the horses they could have panicked and been badly injured.
“They were quite scared by the smoke, flashing lights and fire engine noise, but fire crews are trained to deal with fires involving large animals. We knew it would be better to get the smoke out than release frightened horses into the open.”
“We put the fire out, ventilated the block and calmed the horses down. When it was light we discovered five llamas were watching us next to the stables, but they were not involved in the incident.”
The cause of the fire is thought to have been an electrical fault.
Four fire engines, 21 firefighters and officers from Orpington and Sidcup Fire Stations attended the incident, which was reported at 4.35am.