A woman has been taken to hospital following a house fire in Croydon.

Part of the ground floor of a converted semi-detached house was damaged by the blaze in Elgin Road at around 3am on Tuesday.

Five people left the building before the fire brigade arrived.

One man was treated on scene by ambulance crews and one woman was taken to hospital.

The Brigade's fire investigators believe the fire was caused by a candle igniting nearby combustible items.

Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters were called at 3.09am and the fire was under control by 4.06am.

Fire crews from Woodside, Croydon, Beckenham and Norbury fire stations attended the scene.

Sub Officer Shelley Ovenden, who was at the scene, said: “On arrival, the fire wasn’t very visible, but as initial crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the property, they were faced with a fully developed fire and heavy smoke came out of the building.

“Firefighters worked incredibly quickly to contain the fire to just one room and the hallway, saving neighbouring properties.

"Crews also led a woman to the front of the property who was in a rear garden.”

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "Candles are one of the most common causes of fires in the home and you should be careful when using them.

“It’s really important that you never leave them unattended and keep them away from anything that could catch fire such as curtains, furniture or clothes.

"We recommend swapping traditional candles for LED flameless ones as they are much safer, but if you do use real candles, follow our simple safety tips."

Candle safety tips

- Make sure you put out any candles, incense and oil burners when you leave the room and especially before bed.

- These items should always be held firmly in heat-resistant holders and placed on a stable surface where they won’t be knocked over.

- Keep them away from materials that might catch fire – that's things like curtains, furniture, clothes and hair.

Be aware that tea lights get very hot and without proper holders can melt through plastic surfaces like a TV or bath To avoid accidents keep candles and other naked flames out of reach of children and pets.