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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Fatal Fire Caused by Candles

20/09/2011

A fire which claimed the life of a 79-year-old woman from Milton last night started after candles ignited the nearby bedding materials.

"We would urge people to check on elderly neighbours, relatives and friends wherever possible."

Station Manager, Ian Read

The property had no smoke alarms.

Crews were called to the woman’s Stoneyfields Avenue property by a neighbour at 10.00pm after he discovered smoke coming from his neighbour’s house.

Firefighters forced entry to the property and found a lady unconscious on the landing. She was carried outside where attempts were made by firefighters to resuscitate her until the ambulance arrived to take her to hospital, where she was sadly pronounced dead.

Station Manager, Ian Read said: "Following a joint fire and police investigation we believe this fire to be accidental, caused by a tealight candle left burning close to the bed which set the bed alight.

"This lady had not had a free Home Fire Risk Check and had no smoke alarms in the property. It is a tragic incident but one that highlights the dangers of fire, especially for the vulnerable in our communities.

"We would urge people to check on elderly neighbours, relatives and friends wherever possible, especially now that the colder months are approaching and older people are most at risk.

"A Home Fire Risk Check is free to book and with their permission, you can book one on someone’s behalf by calling 0800 0241 999. Firefighters will be in the Baddeley Green and Milton area over the next few days passing on fire safety information to the local residents and offering free home fire risk checks.

"We encourage people to accept our offer of a free Home Fire Risk Check– help us to help you stay as safe as possible from fire in your home."

A Home Fire Risk Check involves a member of the fire and rescue service visiting your property to identify potential fire hazards and fit safety equipment, such as smoke alarms, to reduce the likelihood of a fire occurring. All members of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service carry photographic identification.