A fireman who saved three goldfish from a flat fire was taken to hospital after he tripped over a shoe.

About 20 firefighters tackled the blaze, which was spotted by a postman, in Sussex Place, above Barnardo’s charity shop in New Malden High Street yesterday.

The fire, which is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault, caused severe smoke damage but the only injury was the firefighter, who was taken to Kingston hospital with an ankle injury.

A lettings manager for Your Move, which leases the property, said three women who live in the flat, but were at work at the time, would not be able to return to their home and were shaken by the experience.

New Malden fire station watch manager Steve Preston said: "The actual fire damage was only really around the area where the fire was.

"But there was very very thick black smoke and the whole flat was damaged, it’s absolutely covered in black soot.

“We did manage to save the goldfish and the bowl. The three young ladies were quite happy that their pet fish were saved alongside their television."

An ambulance and firefighters attended the incident at about 10.15am on Monday, March 12, and left the scene by 1.30pm.

Watch manager Preston thanked the postman and letting agent, who raised the alarm and provided keys for the flat, making their entrance and work to extinguish the fire more straightforward.

He also warned residents of the importance of having a smoke alarm.

Were you the women in the flat? Contact Clare Buchanan at 0208 744 4264