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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Chesterton flat fire caused by cigarette

24/03/2014

A fire which led to a block of flats being evacuated at the weekend was started after a cigarette ignited a waste paper basket.

"The occupant of this flat had an extremely lucky escape. There is no doubt that his neighbour’s quick response in dialling 999 when the smoke alarms went off may have saved his life. This just goes to prove how important it is to have working smoke detectors." 

Station Manager Mark Wilson

 Two crews from Newcastle along with the SERO vehicle attended the incident at Spencer Place in Chesterton.

They arrived at the third floor flat at 3.46am on Saturday, March 22 following a call from a downstairs neighbour who had heard the smoke detectors activate.

Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used one hose reel jet to put out the blaze.

They used a thermal imaging camera to ensure that any hot spots were dealt with and ventilated the property. The last crew left the scene at 5.44am.

Station Manager Mark Wilson said: “The occupant of this flat had an extremely lucky escape. There is no doubt that his neighbour’s quick response in dialling 999 when the smoke alarms went off may have saved his life. This just goes to prove how important it is to have working smoke detectors.

“I would strongly discourage people from drinking alcohol and smoking inside any property. Smoking materials being carelessly discarded was the third most common cause of house fires across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in 2013 and there have been 230 such incidents in the area in the last three years.”

Residents are being encouraged to book a free Home Fire Risk Check. During the visits, crew members or trained technicians check every room in the property for potential fire hazards and speak to residents about their everyday behaviour in the home. Using this information, they try to identify anything that may increase the risk of a fire.

People are being encouraged to book a HFRC by calling Freephone 0800 0241 999, texting 07528 983101 or visiting www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp