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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Couple Have Lucky Escape from House Fire

29/11/2010

The remains of the heater following the fire

An elderly couple have had a lucky escape from a house fire this morning after an electric heater set fire to their bed.

"We’d urge people to take extra care when using portable heaters by not getting too close to them and by keeping flammable materials, such as clothes, bedding and curtains, a safe distance away."

Station Manager, Paul Richins

Crews from Burton were called to Beamhill Road in Anslow, Burton at 7.45am and on arrival found that an elderly couple and their six dogs were still inside the property.

The couple and their pets were escorted outside and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and extinguished the fire in the bedroom using one hose reel jet. The fire has severely damaged the bedroom and smoke logged the entire house.

Station Manager, Paul Richins: "It appears that the couple’s combination boiler had broken so they were using electric heaters in various areas of the house to keep warm.

"The heater in the bedroom had been placed too close to the bed and the bedding had ignited. Luckily, the couple were already up and about and were not in the bedroom at the time.

"A smoke alarm, which had been fitted by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service a few months ago, operated and alerted them to the fire however they were reluctant to leave the animals which slowed down their evacuation process.

"We’d urge people to take extra care when using portable heaters by not getting too close to them and by keeping flammable materials, such as clothes, bedding and curtains, a safe distance away.

"Our advice to everyone in the event of a house fire is to shut the door to the affected room if possible and safe to do so to help contain the fire then get out, stay out and call us to deal with it."

The incident was closed at 9.05am.