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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Codsall House Fire Started Accidentally

10/02/2012

A house fire which gutted a house on Pendeford Mill Lane in Bilbrook, Codsall started accidentally after coal or embers from an open fire ignited nearby boxes.

"We would urge people not to place combustible materials too close to fires and to always use a fire guard."

Station Manager, Bob Preston

The fire took hold at just after 10pm Wednesday night and seven appliances, including two specialist units, were sent to the scene.

The occupants, a 75-year-old woman and her 45-year-old son, were able to escape uninjured however were taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

Station Manager, Bob Preston said: "The house has been completely gutted by the fire. A number of things contributed to the severity of the fire, including the large quantity of boxes being stored in the room where the fire started and the room above having open windows.

"The occupants had packed the contents of the living room into boxes in preparation for a re-decoration. The man had lit the fire and placed a chair in front of it, with the intention of drying clothes once the fire had heated up.

"He then left the room and went upstairs for around 20 minutes and whilst upstairs, smelt burning and began to investigate. He was soon overcome by thick, black smoke but managed to get back downstairs to his mother and get out.

"The man then attempted to re-enter the property to call 999 however neighbours stopped him, other neighbours had already reported the fire by this point. The fire spread quickly to the boxes in the living room and due to the increased presence of oxygen in the house as a result of an open window in an upstairs room, the fire was drawn upstairs and engulfed the whole house rapidly.

"We would urge people not to place combustible materials too close to fires and to always use a fire guard. An open fire should never be used as a means of drying clothes and the immediate area around the fire should be kept as clear as possible."