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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Advice Following Fatal Fire House


Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging everyone to ensure they have working smoke alarms, following a fatal fire in Little Hay near Lichfield on January 26.

"This incident was a very sad accident however it may have been prevented with the use of a fire guard."

Group Manager, Tim Hyde

Kathryn Neale lost her life after an open fire set light to nearby combustible items. There were no smoke alarms fitted in the house.

Had working smoke alarms been fitted in the property the woman’s life may have been saved, as she would have had an early warning to the fire meaning there would have been time for her to react.

Group Manager, Tim Hyde said: “This incident was a very sad accident however it may have been prevented with the use of a fire guard. The reality is it’s likely that Ms Neale would have been able to escape before being overcome by smoke had smoke alarms given an early warning to the fire.

“Our thoughts are of course with Ms Neale’s family and friends and as the local community is a very close-knit one, this has come as an awful shock. We are doing all we can to support everyone involved and hopefully prevent any similar incidents in the future.

“Our firefighters have been out to visit neighbouring properties, offering free Home Fire Risk Checks to fit smoke alarms and fire safety advice. We would like to remind residents that they can call us for help and advice on fire safety and that Home Fire Risk Checks remain completely free of charge.

“Our service is open to everyone so please don’t assume you don’t need our advice or because you don’t fall into a certain risk category that you couldn’t benefit from our help. Call us on 0800 0241 999 or visit our website for more information.”