Londoners should heed $1.2-million fire at Lambeth mansion as a safety warning, officials say

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It took only 13 minutes for flames to gut a Lambeth mansion – a reminder how quickly a blaze can spread, fire officials warned Saturday.

London Fire Department inspectors, joined by Ontario Fire Marshal officials and city cops, remain at the scene of the Thursday blaze at 4 Aspen Place this weekend as the probe into its cause continues.

Damage is estimated at $1.2 million – destruction wrought in 13 minutes, or less time than it takes to cook a pizza. Neighbours say the residents were at the movies at the time of the 10 p.m. fire.

But what if they’d been home?

What if there were kids inside?

Those are the questions an inspector with the London Fire Department, wants other homeowners asking.

“Talk to your family about having a fire-safety plan,” James Marshall said Saturday. “If you don’t have a plan, you won’t be able to get out.”

The remnants of the home are unsafe for fire inspectors to enter. Machinery was brought in to take part of it down, allowing the probe to continue. Saturday, fire trucks and a police cruiser dotted the tree-lined street in Lambeth, a picturesque community in southwest London.

The fire’s cause remains unknown.

London fire officials are door-knocking around Aspen Place this weekend, visiting homes nearby and offering fire-safety information.

With files from Free Press reporter Patrick Maloney

Below is an amateur video of the Thursday night blaze, published on YouTube:

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