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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Firefighters tackle house blaze

18/02/2014

Firefighters tackled a blaze that broke out at a house in Newcastle-under-Lyme last night.

"This just goes to show the importance of testing your smoke alarms on a regular basis and, if you have any older or vulnerable friends, family or neighbours, take a few minutes to check that their detectors are working too. By doing this you could not only be saving your life but the lives of others too."

Station Manager Brian Griffiths

The elderly lady who was in the detached property at the time managed to escape after smoke alarms alerted her to the fire.

Engines from Hanley and Newcastle and the Staffordshire Efficient Response Operation, known as the SERO vehicle, also from Newcastle, attended the incident at 8.53pm.

Crews used two breathing apparatus and one hose reel jet to put out the fire which was contained to a plastic bin in the ground floor kitchen at the Wulstan Drive house.

After the blaze had been extinguished firefighters used a large specialist fan to assist with the removal of smoke from the property and crews left the scene at 9.44pm. The lady was taken to hospital by ambulance.

It is thought that the fire started accidently in the living room where a towel had been placed over the gas fire to dry. It subsequently set alight. The occupant then removed the towel and carried it to the kitchen before fleeing the building and alerting a neighbour.

Station Manager Brian Griffiths said: "This was a lucky escape for the lady concerned and, had she not had working smoke detectors, the consequences could have taken a more tragic turn.

"This just goes to show the importance of testing your smoke alarms on a regular basis and, if you have any older or vulnerable friends, family or neighbours, take a few minutes to check that their detectors are working too. By doing this you could not only be saving your life but the lives of others too.

"I would also strongly discourage people from attempting to tackle a fire themselves. Have an escape route already planned and leave the building immediately after becoming aware of a blaze."

Anyone concerned about fire safety is being urged to book a free Home Fire Risk Check.

Crew members or technicians will visit people in their homes, check to see if their smoke alarms are working and, if they are not, they will fit a new one.

They will also talk residents through possible escape routes and check for potential hazards. To book call Freephone 0800 0241 999, text 07528 983101 or visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp.