Firefighters are warning people to keep their wheelie bins out of sight where possible and away from their properties following a house fire on Tansy Road in Kettlebrook in the early hours of last Friday morning.
"We urge people to keep their wheelie bins out of sight where possible and only put them out in view on the day of collection."
Station Manager, Paul Richins
The elderly occupants of the property alerted the fire service to the incident at around 1.54am on April 13 after they were woken up by the noise of the fire.
The fire started in their wheelie bin and then took hold of the porch area and kitchen window of the property. Four fire engines Tamworth and the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service attended the incident.
The fire also spread to the neighbouring property’s porch however everyone from both houses was able to evacuate themselves. The four adults, two from each property, received oxygen therapy from paramedics on scene however did not attend hospital.
Station Manager, Paul Richins said: "The affected house did not have any working smoke alarms and the occupants were only alerted to the fire after being woken up by the noise of the fire.
"We attended three other wheelie bin fires within a mile of this incident within a two hour period prior to the incident. After speaking to other residents on the same street it came to light that at least five other wheelie bins had been set on fire overnight.
“The outcome of those fires could have been very different; someone could have been very seriously injured or worse.
"We urge people to keep their wheelie bins out of sight where possible and only put them out in view on the day of collection. If you do not have the facilities to store the bins out of sight, make sure you do not place then against or near to your property as a wheelie bin fire can quite easily turn into a house fire which is what happened at the incident last week."
Inquiries by Staffordshire Police detectives led to the arrest of a 23-year-old Tamworth man on Friday night. He was charged with two counts of arson – recklessly endangering life; three counts of arson and one count of attempted arson and is due to appear before magistrates in Burton on Friday, 23 April.
Paul added: "We have since returned to the area and carried out free Home Fire Risk Checks for a number of the local residents. We will return to the affected property at a later date to fit new smoke alarms."