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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Four Preventable House Fires

19/03/2012

North Staffordshire firefighters have attended several accidental house fires this weekend, all of which were preventable.

“We’re shocked by the number of accidental house fires we’ve had in North Staffordshire this weekend, all of which were preventable. Three people have died in house fires already this month - people need to be more aware of the consequences of their actions and take responsibility for fire safety in their homes.”

Station Manager Dave Steele.

The first call was received at 12.11pm on Saturday reporting a fire on Chamberlain Way in Biddulph. Firefighters from Biddulph and Sandyford attended the incident which involved a fire in a conservatory.

The fire had started due to a tea towel that had been left on a hob that was switched on and caught fire. The occupier had taken the tea towel outside and believed that it was no longer on fire and left it on top of the wheelie bin. The tea towel ignited and set fire to the bin and spread the conservatory which was well alight when fire crews arrived.

Two hose reel jets were used to extinguish the blaze. The fire had severely damaged the conservatory and the kitchen had been damaged by the smoke. Firefighters left the incident at 3.09pm.

On Sunday crews from Sandyford and Burslem were called to a house fire on Catton Crescent in Milton at around 1.18pm.

Upon arrival firefighters discovered a cupboard under the stairs that was well alight. The fire had started due to paper and other combustible items that were placed too close to a light bulb causing them to overheat and catch fire.

The occupiers of the property were out at the time but fortunately their son called round to drop off a Mothers Day card and heard the smoke alarm activating which alerted him to the fire. The incident could have been far more serious had he not visited the house.

Firefighters used one hose reel jet to tackle the fire and the incident was closed at 2pm.

That evening at approximately 8pm firefighters from Hanley were called to a flat fire in James Brindley Close in Shelton where a second floor flat was well alight.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building using one hose reel jet to extinguish the fire. One man had made his way out of the flat before the arrival of fire crews.

The man had been drinking alcohol and carelessly disposed of a cigarette by putting it out in a dish instead of an ashtray.  He then tipped the contents of the dish into a plastic bin liner which was full of tissues which later caught fire whilst the occupant was sleeping.

The flat was fitted with a hard wired smoke alarm which activated alerting a neighbour to the fire, who banged on the door to wake up the male. The occupant had an extremely lucky escape as if it wasn’t for the neighbour raising the alarm he may not have got out of the property alive.

The casualty was treated by paramedics and the incident was closed at 12.21am.

The final incident happened on Monday morning when crews from Sandyford and Biddulph were called to a flat fire on Park Lane in Knypersley. The call was received at 4.40am reporting the incident.

Firefighters arrived at the property to find the lounge well alight. All three female occupants had made their way out of the flat before the arrival of the fire crews. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used one hose reel jet to tackle the fire.

The fire was most likely caused by a lit candle that had been left unattended which set fire to other items surrounding it.

The occupants had an extremely lucky escape as the property was not fitted with working smoke alarms. They were alerted by the noise of the fire and due to the lounge door being closed they were able to get out of the flat safely.

The fire was contained to the one room which was severely damaged by the fire. The rest of the property was smoke damaged throughout.

An ambulance was requested as one female casualty was suffering from shock. The incident was closed at 7.04am.

Station Manager Dave Steele said: “We’re shocked by the number of accidental house fires we’ve had in North Staffordshire this weekend, all of which were preventable. Three people have died in house fires already this month - people need to be more aware of the consequences of their actions and take responsibility for fire safety in their homes.”