Four adults and three children were taken to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a portable barbecue.

The barbecue is suspected to have produced potentially deadly fumes early on Friday (September 29) after being put in water in the bathroom of a flat on Meredith Street, Plaistow, to cool it down.

The brigade was notified at 4.35am, with fire engines from Plaistow and East Ham sent to the scene.

Two adults and two children were taken to hospital by ambulance after having woken up in the middle of the night suffering from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

A child and two adults from a neighbouring flat were also taken to hospital.

LFB Assistant Commissioner Charlie Pugsley said: “Carbon monoxide (CO) fumes are silent and highly poisonous and are produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels such as coal or gas.”

“CO is difficult to detect because you cannot taste, see or smell it, but it can kill in minutes.”

The incident was resolved by 6.45am.

Assistant Commissioner Pugsley added: “Fortunately, we understand this family are now okay, but it serves as a timely reminder of why you should never use a BBQ inside your home.”

“Aside from the fire risks, a smouldering BBQ can continue to produce CO for many hours afterwards.”

The London Fire Brigade’s advice recommends that all BBQs should be on level, hardstanding ground and should never be left unattended. To cool, BBQs should always remain outside, and users should ensure their BBQs are completely out.

Assistant Commissioner Pugsley said: “It's really important to fit a CO alarm in all rooms containing fuel burning appliances, ensuring that the alarm is able to be heard throughout the property. When sleeping, it is important that your alarm will wake you if it sounds.

“It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and learn what to do if you suspect someone may be affected.”

CO poisoning symptoms:

  • Headaches 

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea/Vomiting 

  • Breathlessness

  • Collapse

  • Loss of Consciousness

Click for more safety information from the London Fire Brigade on Carbon Monoxide and BBQs