FIREFIGHTERS have issued a safety reminder about portable heaters following a blaze at a flat in Cassandra Close, Northolt, on New Year's Eve.

Most of the flat, on the first floor of a two-storey block, was damaged. A small part of the first-floor communal hallway and a neighbouring flat were also affected.

One man left the flat before the brigade arrived. He was taken to hospital by ambulance after inhaling smoke.

Another four people also left the building and were assessed as a precaution.

Investigators believe the fire was caused by a halogen heater catching curtains alight.

A spokesperson said it was vital heaters are kept well away from bedding or furniture and were never used to dry clothes.

The brigade was called at 8.35am and the fire was under control by 9.53. Four fire engines and around 25 crew from Northolt, Wembley, Harrow and Southall attended.