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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Caravan Fire Started after Clothes Fall on Heater

06/01/2012

A caravan fire outside a property on Washdale Lane in Meaford last night started accidentally after clothing fell onto an active gas heater.

"We would like to remind people not to leave heaters unattended at any time and in the event of a fire, please put your own safety first and do not attempt to tackle the fire in any way."

Station Manager, Ruth Watchorn-Rice

Two crews from Stone and one crew from Longton were called to the incident by the occupant of the nearby house at just after 10pm last night.

On arrival, they were faced with a caravan well alight as well as several trees and the fire was in danger of spreading to the house.

Crews used two main jets to tackle the fire, which damaged several trees as well as destroying the caravan and its contents.

Station Manager, Ruth Watchorn-Rice said: "The caravan was parked at the front of a domestic property and was used by the owner as sleeping accommodation.

"The woman said she had turned on a gas heater in the caravan earlier that day after hearing about a reported frost that evening. She had then hung up some clothes and gone back into the house.

"She discovered the fire at around 10pm and saw that the clothing had fallen on top of the heater. She opened the caravan door and pulled the burning clothing outside however in doing so caused other items in the caravan to catch fire which then spread.

"We would like to remind people not to leave heaters unattended at any time and in the event of a fire, please put your own safety first and do not attempt to tackle the fire in any way. Call us then get away from the fire and wait for our arrival in a safe place."

Firefighters quickly extinguished the caravan and tree fire and managed to prevent the fire from spreading to the house. Butane cylinders were also being stored outside the caravan and were in close proximity to the house – luckily, firefighters managed to cool them before they caught fire.

Ruth added: "We would encourage caravan owners to park as far away from domestic properties as possible and to ensure any cylinders are stored safely and securely."

Whilst at the scene, firefighters checked for smoke alarms inside the nearby house and found correctly fitted working ones inside. The caravan did not have any smoke alarms fitted.

Firefighters will return to the property this weekend to give the occupier and her elderly father, who also lives there, some safety advice as part of a free Home Fire Risk Check.