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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Accidental Flat Fire in Audley

07/02/2011

Crews from Newcastle and Sandyford have attended a flat fire on King Street in Audley this morning at 9.30am.

"We cannot stress how important working smoke alarms are, it was pure luck that the occupier was not home."

Station Manager, Rob Barber

On arrival, they found a ground floor flat well alight and it was unknown at that stage whether the occupier was inside or not.

Six firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and used two hose reel jets to extinguish the fire whilst also carrying out a thorough search of the property for any persons.

Station Manager, Rob Barber said: "It was soon established that fortunately, the occupier was not home. If he had been, we’d have been looking at a much more serious incident as the fire was well developed and the smoke alarm had been dismantled making it useless.

"The fire was spotted by a neighbour and other flats had to be evacuated as a precautionary measure given the severe amount of smoke damage to the ground floor flat."

The fire was extinguished and an investigation commenced to find out the cause of the fire. Fire officers have established that the fire started accidentally involving the microwave and then spread to nearby paper and other combustible materials.

Rob Barber added: "We cannot stress how important working smoke alarms are, it was pure luck that the occupier was not home and a neighbour just happened to spot the smoke. Had the smoke alarm been working it could have alerted neighbours to the situation earlier, as their lives were also at risk.

"We can offer a free Home Fire Risk Check to anyone in Staffordshire where we will make sure you have working smoke alarms and fit new ones if you don’t. Call us on 0800 0241 999 to book and a fire service technician will call around at a suitable time."