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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Smoke alarm warning after fire at flat

A fire at a Cannock home could have had tragic consequences due to batteries being removed from two smoke alarms in the property, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has warned. 

"The occupier was very lucky. If he had not been woken by the smell of fire, we could easily have been dealing with a fatal incident." 

Neil Pederson, Station Manager.

The fire – at a flat in Devon Road, Hednesford yesterday – was caused after a chip pan that had been left unattended on a hob ignited, setting fire to kitchen cupboards. 

The occupier, who had fallen asleep in the lounge was woken by the smell of smoke. He closed the kitchen door, which prevented the fire taking hold, and went to a neighbour who called 999 shortly after 2pm. 

Crews from Cannock and Penkridge attended the scene and two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the blaze with a hose reel jet. 

Neil Pederson, Station Manager, said: “The occupier was very lucky. If he had not been woken by the smell of fire, we could easily have been dealing with a fatal incident. 

“The property had two smoke alarms installed in the hallway but neither worked because the batteries had been removed.  We urge anyone who has a smoke alarm in their home to make sure batteries are fitted and that they test the alarm works regularly by pushing the button. This simple check could save their and their families lives.

“We would also encourage anyone who owns a chip pan to replace it with a deep fat fryer. Unlike a traditional chip pan, which is notoriously dangerous, deep fat fryers usually have a thermostat and should automatically switch off when they reach a certain temperature.”

The occupier was taken to Stafford General Hospital by ambulance.

The cause of the fire was accidental and firefighters left the scene shortly after 3pm.