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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Blocked Chimney Causes House Fire in Trysull

26/09/2012

Crews from Codsall and Wombourne as well as two fire engines from West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service were called to a property on Trysull Holloway in the early hours of this morning.

"People often assume if it worked fine last year it will also work fine this year however that is not a sensible assumption to make."

Station Manager, Al Bateman

Firefighters received the call at 12.40am, initially reporting that a roof was on fire however on arrival they found a severe fire in progress on a first floor landing.

Hose reel jets were used to tackle the fire, which is believed to have started due to a blockage in the chimney.

Station Manager, Al Bateman said: "The house is an old property and the occupants reported that their heating had failed and so they had been using their gas fire constantly for the last few days.

"It appears that there was some form of blockage in the chimney and whatever was stuck in there caught fire. Due to the age of the chimney, there were probably some cracks in the structure which allowed the fire to spread to the floorboards of the landing area.

"A number of wooden floor beams caught fire which meant that we had to cut away the floor and knock down part of a wall in order to ensure the fire was properly extinguished.

"The property had no smoke alarms fitted at all which meant that the occupants didn’t receive an early warning to the fire. If they had have had working smoke alarms, it could have meant we were alerted sooner and been able to limit the damage caused.

"We would urge people to make sure they have had they chimneys and heating appliances checked by a professional now that the colder weather is approaching. People often assume if it worked fine last year it will also work fine this year however that is not a sensible assumption to make."

Crews fitted new smoke alarms at the property before leaving the incident at 3.35am. One crew has also re-inspected the property this morning to check no hot spots remain and will return later this afternoon for a further inspection.