Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued a warning about putting combustible items too close to heating appliances, following a severe flat fire in Tamworth.
“The occupier had all of her internal doors propped open so the fire spread rapidly from room to room and has destroyed the entire flat."
Station Manager, Paul Richins.
Two crews from Tamworth were called to Peel Drive in Wilnecote at 1.43am on Sunday morning.
The occupant had managed to safely get out of the flat thanks to the smoke alarms alerting her however her pet cat sadly died in the blaze.
Firefighters used one hose reel jet to tackle the fire which started after a sofa had been pushed up against a storage heater and subsequently set on fire.
Station Manager, Paul Richins said: “The occupier had all of her internal doors propped open so the fire spread rapidly from room to room and has destroyed the entire flat.
“A sofa had been pushed right up against a storage heater, which was timed to come on, and when it did the heat radiation started a fire involving the sofa which then spread to other combustible items in the room.
“Due to the doors being open, the fire was able to spread to every room but luckily working smoke alarms alerted the occupant and she was able to get out before it was too late.
“We always recommend that people close their internal doors when they’re out of the home and overnight, as this effectively protects your escape route and can help to contain a fire to one room.
“We have seen similar potentially dangerous scenarios in people’s homes whilst we’ve been carrying out free Home Fire Risk Checks, commonly involving over-large or corner sofas.
“Not all rooms are designed to accommodate a very large or specific-shaped sofa which results in radiators, heaters and even fireplaces being obscured by the sofa. This could cause a fire in your home due to heat radiating, particularly within something like a sofa, and eventually catching fire.
“We would urge people to check they do not have any combustible items, such as sofas, chairs, wooden tables and so on pushed right up against any heating source.
“We’ve got a few days of freezing temperatures this week so a lot of people will be putting their heating on if they haven’t done so already so we’d urge people to please make sure they’re not at risk of a similar fire to this one.
“We can provide fire safety in the home advice free of charge as part of our Home Fire Risk Checks where we will also check you have working smoke alarms. To book one, simply call 0800 0241 999.”
Crews left the scene at 3.28am. The woman was taken to hospital for precautionary checks but has now been discharged.