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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Men Lucky to be Alive Following Flat Fire

29/02/2012

Two men in their 30s are lucky to be alive following a fire at a flat on Farmwood Close in Meir in the early hours of this morning.

"We urge people to follow our advice in the event of a fire – both of these men could have gotten out of the flat much earlier than they did."

Station Manager, Carl Mason

Firefighters from Longton and Hanley were called to the incident by neighbours at 1.20am this morning. They reported that the occupants were still inside and seemed unable to get out.

The men had been led to safety with the assistance of another neighbour when firefighters arrived and were both suffering from smoke inhalation.

Firefighters used two hose reel jets to tackle the fire, which had started in the bedroom after one of the men had been smoking in bed and fallen asleep.

Station Manager, Carl Mason said: "Both of these men are incredibly lucky to be alive. The occupant admitted he had been smoking in bed and must have fallen asleep; both men had been drinking and so were disorientated.

"The occupant also admitted that he had tried to tackle the fire himself instead of getting out of the flat. He had to be admitted to hospital for further treatment as he’d taken in a lot of smoke.

"We also discovered that although there was a working smoke alarm in the bedroom, it was not fitted and had just been placed in the windowsill. It did eventually detect the smoke but by that point the room was filled. Had it been fitted properly to the ceiling, the man asleep in bed would have had an earlier warning of the fire.

"The man’s friend who had been in the living room when the fire broke didn’t get out either. Instead he opened the window and shouted for help which is when a neighbour heard and alerted the fire service.

"We could have been dealing with a much more serious incident this morning and both men could have quite easily ended up trapped in the flat.

"We urge people to follow our advice in the event of a fire – both of these men could have gotten out of the flat much earlier than they did. People should never try to tackle fires themselves, instead get out and stay out or if you can’t get out of the property get as far away from the fire as possible and close the door."

Crews left the scene at just before 4.00am this morning.