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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Two Men Rescued from Two Fires

07/06/2011

Two men were rescued from their separate flats last night in Clayton and Westlands, following fires in their properties.

"Both men were incredibly lucky that they have vigilant neighbours as neither were aware there was a fire."

Station Manager, David Agu

Crews from Newcastle were firstly called to Weaver Place in Clayton at 9.35pm after another flat occupant heard a smoke alarm operating from a neighbouring flat and called the fire service.

A 39-year-old man was rescued from the property by firefighters after being found asleep on the sofa whilst a kitchen fire was in progress.

Station Manager, David Agu said: "The man was under the influence of alcohol and appears to have put some food on the hob and in the oven to cook but had then lay down on the sofa and fallen asleep.

"His smoke alarms were operating however due to the effects of alcohol he remained oblivious and it was actually a neighbour who heard the alarms and alerted us to the incident."

Crews spent almost an hour at the scene ventilating the heavily smoke logged flat and just two hours later were called to a second flat fire, this one on Rothesay Avenue in Westlands.

Similarly to the previous incident, a man aged 40 was rescued from his flat after being found asleep in bed whilst a fire was in progress.

David Agu said: "Again, smoke alarms operated however this man was also under the influence of alcohol and oblivious to the fire. A neighbour in a ground floor flat had smelt smoke coming from above and concerned, had called the fire service.

"The man had been smoking in the bedroom and put his cigarette on the bedside table, which had a lot of clutter on it. Various combustible materials caught fire and the flat was severely smoke logged.

"Both men were incredibly lucky that they have vigilant neighbours as neither were aware there was a fire.

"As these incidents highlight, alcohol can seriously impair judgement and it’s only too easy to start cooking or smoking and then fall asleep. Both fires could have developed into much more serious fires had it not been for their respective neighbours.

"Our advice is don’t do it – if you’re going to be having a drink, don’t be tempted to cook and smokers should avoid smoking in bed. It doesn’t take long for food to catch fire or hot cigarette ash to set combustible materials alight."