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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Young Couple Rescued from House Fire in Leek

29/07/2011

Firefighters have rescued a young couple from a fire at a property on Ball Haye Green Road in Leek in the early hours of this morning.

"Cooking requires your full attention. As this incident highlights, it doesn’t take long for a fire to start."

Station Manager, Ian Read

Neighbours of the couple were woken by a smoke alarm operating and got up to investigate. Once they realised it wasn’t their own alarm they went outside and looked through the letterbox of their neighbour’s house, where they saw smoke.

Station Manager, Ian Read said: "The neighbours had heard a smoke alarm and on investigation discovered a fire in their neighbour’s house. They called the fire service at 12.20am; they then fetched ladders and put them up to the bedroom window. They knocked on the window to try and wake the couple, however they did not respond.

"On arrival, firefighters from Leek and Ipstones forced entry to the property and found a young man and woman unconscious in the bedroom. They were both rescued and were both conscious by the time we got them outside where they were checked over by paramedics.

"They are incredibly lucky that the neighbours heard the alarm otherwise they may not have been saved. The fire started after a pan of food had been left cooking and the couple had then forgotten about it and gone to bed.

"We would urge people not to cook late at night as it is only too easy to forget about it and fall asleep, as your mind is thinking about going to bed.

"Cooking requires your full attention. As this incident highlights, it doesn’t take long for a fire to start and had this property not had working smoke alarms which alerted the neighbours we would have been dealing with a much more serious incident."

The Service is currently running a cooking campaign safety campaign after statistics revealed that over half of the accidental house fires that firefighters attend are started by cooking.

The female occupier, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I don’t remember much. All I remember is feeling hungry and putting some food on the hob and then I must have fallen asleep.

"It was a shock when I woke up as I was outside and surrounded by firefighters and realised my house was on fire. We didn’t hear the smoke alarm, the firefighters said the smoke might have already affected us as we were both unconscious when they found us.

"I don’t know why I did it. I’ve never done it before; if I’ve been hungry late at night I’ve just waited until breakfast. My advice to anyone else thinking of cooking late at night is just don’t do it– go to bed and wait until breakfast, it isn’t worth the risk."

The property has been left smoke damaged following the fire. Firefighters left the scene at 1.10am.