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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Smoke Alarms Save Lives of Newcastle Couple

28/03/2012

An elderly couple from Newcastle have today credited smoke alarms fitted by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service with saving their lives.

"I would say to anyone who doesn’t have them for goodness sake get some smoke alarms!"

Diane Cornish

Allan and Diane Cornish from Chester Crescent in Westlands, Newcastle were woken by their smoke alarms sounding at around 6am this morning.

Mr Cornish went downstairs to investigate and halfway down the stairs saw smoke coming from the kitchen, he shouted for his wife to ‘get out now’ because there was a fire.

The couple grabbed their mobile phones and quickly left via the front door then called the fire service and waited outside.

Two crews from Newcastle attended the property and discovered the cooker on fire in the kitchen. One hose reel jet was used to tackle the blaze; the couple were uninjured and did not need to attend hospital.

Mrs Cornish said: "We are so grateful to the Fire Service for providing us with these smoke alarms. We were shopping in the Roebuck centre a few years ago when we saw firefighters in there and so went over to talk to them.

"A couple of days later the firefighters came over to our house and fitted us with two smoke alarms and gave us fire safety advice.

"Their visit also prompted us to get smoke alarms fitted on our boat as well and I would say to anyone who doesn’t have them for goodness sake get some smoke alarms!

"We like to think we’re very fire safe, we turn appliances off at night and never thought that something like this would happen. Our cooker isn’t very old so this has really hit home."

The fire was discovered to have been caused by an electrical fault with the cooker and has left the kitchen smoke logged.

Station Manager, Mick Daniels said: "Mr and Mrs Cornish did exactly the right thing when they were alerted to the fire by their smoke alarms; they got out, stayed out and called us.

"This incident highlights how important working smoke alarms are – in this incident they without a doubt saved Mr and Mrs Cornish’s lives as they were asleep in bed when the fire broke out. The early warning allowed them to safely evacuate and also meant minimal damage was caused to their property.

"We provide smoke alarms free of charge so there is no reason why anyone in Staffordshire should not have working smoke alarms. They can call us on 0800 0241 999 and we will come out to them, just like we visited Mr and Mrs Cornish, and make sure they have working smoke alarms and know what to do in the event of a fire."

Mrs Cornish added: "The Fire Service were wonderful and I’d like to let everyone know that. If what’s happened to us makes just one person sit up and take notice then we’ll be happy."