FIREFIGHTERS barely had to leave their station to deal with a blaze this morning.

Crews from Springbourne were called at 8am to a fire at Richmond Park Close.

Incident commander, crew manager Richard Chave, said: “This is definitely the closest fire Springbourne fire crews have attended.

“As the night shift were leaving this morning, they spotted the fire about 20m away from the station.

“At the same time, fire control alerted us and the station bells went off. We were able to unravel hose in the drill yard and start dealing with the incident before our colleagues from Westbourne and Redhill Park arrived.”

The fire involved some children’s toys at the side of a ground floor flat and a kitchen window, waste pipe and outside wall also suffered damage.

Firefighters believe it was started by carelessly discarded smoking material and advised people not to throw cigarettes away carelessly or store items close to a property.

Karla Miller, who lives in the flat with her family, said: “We’ve had a few issues with smoking materials being discarded carelessly; we’ve now lost quite a few of our children’s toys, not to mention our kitchen window in this fire. We are really grateful for being so close to the fire station, it could have been so much worse as we were all asleep.”