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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Warning Following Spate of Incidents

Firefighters have issued a warning to Staffordshire residents following an increase in chimney fires across the county recently and a number of fires which have been caused as a result of poorly installed solid fuel burners.

"We are urging home owners to ensure they are using open fires as safely as possible and are not putting themselves at risk of fire."

Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj

Firefighters from Hanley, Longton and Cheadle were called to a house fire on Meir Park on Monday evening at 4.10pm.

The incident involved a fire in a domestic single storey garage.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the fire using two hose reel jets.

The fire had started in a wheelie bin outside due to hot ashes that had been put in the bin. The ashes set the wheelie bin alight and the fire spread to a nearby garage.

Firefighters left the scene at 9.20pm.

At around 9pm on Monday evening fire crews from Sandyford and Burslem were called to a chimney fire on Duddell Road in Smallthorne.

The incident involved a chimney which was on fire and had started due to a poorly fitted wood burning stove. A combustible wood lintel used during the fitting had set alight and filled the room with smoke.

Firefighters left the incident at 9.46pm.
 
Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj said: "Due to energy costs of gas and electric rising, more people are opting for open fires. We are urging home owners to ensure they are using open fires as safely as possible and are not putting themselves at risk of fire.

"A spark or fire guard should always be placed in front of an open fire to prevent embers falling out onto the floor or carpet.

"Hot ash should never be put into wheelie bins and should always be placed into a metal container until it is properly cooled. Ash ideally should be left for a day to cool properly so even if you think it’s probably ok, put it into a metal container first and leave it in there just in case.

"We also recommend that fires and wood burners are properly installed by competent persons who are registered.

"Fortunately the occupants of the house in Burslem were awake and they noticed the fire. If they had been asleep the incident could have been far more serious as the room could have filled with carbon monoxide which could have killed them.

"We would also encourage people to make sure that they have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors fitted in the home."